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More Or Less Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 16:36 GMT
Revealing numbers in the NHS
Nurses
Nursing recruitment is high on the political agenda

More or Less was broadcast on Tuesday, 12 November, 2002 at 1600 GMT on BBC Radio 4.

 Click here to listen to the programme


In More or Less, we investigate some of our most politically sensitive numbers with revelations about the way we measure the performance of the health service, looking particularly at the crisis of nurse recruitment.

The government has set targets to improve the number of nurses on the wards and aims to train more, persuade more to return to the job and attract more from overseas.

Counting them, knowing where they are and how they are recruited ought to be straightforward.

But though the National Health Service is beset by targets and measurement, we discover that there is much essential information which is measured badly, or not at all.

Also: the mathematical abilities of Brazilian street children which may help us find better ways of teaching maths in the classroom.

According to one researcher it suggests two fundamentally different ways of calculating.

And the recent storm with its extensively quoted 50m pounds worth of damage... Says who?

We crunched the numbers.

Producer: Michael Blastland
Editor: Nicola Meyrick

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