North West Ambulance Service's worthless FOI figures expose more worrying problems
We all know the adage about nine out ten statistics are made up. But what happens when you can't even make it up?
Last June Kane Wade, 10, chocked to death on a sweet when an ambulance was delayed because his house could not be found on a computer system.
This is a terrible tragedy, and one which Kane's family are still unable to come to terms with because they are still fighting to discover the full truth behind his death.
It was Kane's death that sparked my FOI, which was designed to discover how many times the waiting time target of eight minutes is missed due to technological faults.
This FOI request was placed with the ambulance service in April - the response came 12 weeks after the 20 working day deadline.
In its much delayed response the service said there had been 53 cases in 2009 of missing the eight minute target, jumping to 120 in 2010, and 403 in 2011.
An astonishing rise that should have alerted the ambulance service that, either it had a big problem on its hands or that it was not collecting its data correctly.
When I contacted NWAS for an explanation was I told that the information was inaccurate.
This might be understandable if the information had been provided quickly, but it was not.
It is not surprising that Kane's family still feel that they have not had a full explanation into his death.
Kane's mum Lindsey believes there is a huge public interest in the full facts of her son's case being known, and wants a public inquiry.
Clearly NWAS failure to properly collect data it should have at its finger tips will do nothing to rebuild confidence with Kane's family or the wider public.
At the heart of this story is a little boy who did not have had an ambulance at his door step when he needed it.
That NWAS was unable to tell us how often this happens is deeply worrying.