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Tell a lie loud enough...

There is an old saying about lies, damn lies, and Government statistics.

There is an old saying about lies, damn lies, and Government statistics.

Now, marry that with another old favourite: if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Just two months ago, at a cost to the taxpayer of £11m, pollster Ipsos MORI released the results of the Government's Patient Experience Survey, which found 84% of patients were satisfied with their practice opening hours.

Parliamentary sources said the Department of Health was none too happy at being deprived of the ammunition it was hoping for to launch an attack on GP access.

Knights to the rescue

Now the Prime Minister's old friends in the City appear to be coming to his rescue like white knights in pinstripe suits.

This week, the same Ipsos MORI – this time acting completely independently of Whitehall, of course – produced a survey on behalf of the CBI, the top line of which was that one in three adults finds it fairly or very difficult to get a convenient GP appointment.

In the middle of the biggest banking crisis in years, business leaders are devoting their time to worrying about the damage GPs are wreaking on the economy and how MPIG needs to be revised as a matter of urgency.

Meanwhile, the Government says Lord Darzi is to meet the likes of Virgin, Boots and Tesco bosses to tackle the supposed GP access crisis.

Just as well GPs are not a cynical bunch, or they might suspect a conspiracy.

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