We often expose statistics in the news, but we do not always tell you what we had to do to get there. In this week's programme, you could hear exactly how the inquiry unfolds. The story begins with... a research paper which compares English and Welsh hospitals during a period when the English were pushing waiting list targets but the Welsh did not, choosing to emphasise other priorities. It sought to answer a good question: what happened to hospital performance during that time? Some conclusions might have been expected: that there was some evidence - not quite conclusive perhaps, but evidence all the same - that the waiting list target regime really did increase the number of patients treated by English hospitals compared to Welsh ones. Other conclusions were more surprising, including the possibility that a rising number of people had died in Welsh hospitals during the period when Welsh hospitals were less preoccupied by keeping waiting times down. Was it true? Did the Welsh policy now look like a terrible mistake? Or was there some innocent explanation, a tedious problem with data collection for example? -- And there is the story of a new flow of money into developing countries that for some of them dwarfs the money available from aid. What is it and why do we not talk about it?
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|A. W Dilnot; Jake Arnold Foster; Siobhan McClelland; Andrew Street; Roger Taylor
|BBC Open University
|Mathematical statistics; Social sciences--Statistical methods
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