Missing A&E waiting time targets probably means it’s time to change those targets, insists government

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The government has explained that the process of changing a target when you don’t meet it, is a key part of the government’s love of targets.

As the government’s own target to see 95% of A&E patients within four hours was missed in every single month since 2015, the government has insisted it is something it is keen to address.

A spokesperson for the government insisted that missing its target means it is clearly time to revise who should be included in that 4-hour target.

They went on, “When a target is missed, there are three things you can do; replace the person who tried to hit the target, change the way you tried to hit the target, or just change the target to something else so it looks like you’re doing a good job.

“As such, we are suggesting that the only patients that should count towards this 4-hour A&E target are those we actually see within 4-hours – if it takes longer than 4-hours to see them, then they should not be counted. This will improve our performance against target significantly.

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“After all, a government should only be assessed on how they look on paper, rather than the quality of service they are providing to citizens.”

When opposition parties suggested that maybe spending a bit more money on A&E services would ensure everyone is seen within four hours, the government described the suggestion as ‘utterly mental’.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock explained, “If spending money actually made things better, then we’d all be doing it, obviously. But it doesn’t – which is why I live in a hole in the ground and drive a thirty-five-year-old Austin Allegro.”

He went on, “Discounting the patients who make it hard to meet our targets is just common sense.

“It’s like when education standards appear to be falling, and the first thing we do is say we shouldn’t be counting the results of all the thick kids.

“The Conservative party is a big believer in capitalist principles, and if there’s one thing we’ve noticed among successful capitalists, it’s that when someone misses their targets, those targets are revised to make it look like that person was actually successful.

“Which is why no sales people ever miss a target, and never lose their jobs as a result.  Sales, like Health Secretary, is quite rightly a job for life.”