Screen shot 2013-11-15 at 15.26.35Jeremy Hunt says it did.

The BMA says it didn’t.

I reported both claims earlier today  – and here’s a graph.

Of course, that a rise in attendances followed the introduction of the contract proves nothing in itself, and graphs can suggest many things.

After all, 2004 also saw Martin Strel, a Slovenian, become the first person to swim the length of the Yangtze river.  I suppose it is possible that Strel’s achievement somehow sparked a rise in A & E attendances that has continued ever since, and that it would also be possible to substitute it for the introduction of the contract in the graph above.

And other factors will perhaps be in play which help to explain why the rise in attendances has not been consistent since that year.

None the less, it seems to me more likely that the contract has driven the rise than Strel’s feat, remarkable though it was.

The BMA presumably has some explanation for the graph other than that what it suggests is true.

It would be interesting to know what it is.  (I see there is a suggestion of a data change.)

Anyway, I now leave the matter to the wisdom of our readers.

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