The Healthcare Commission is under attack. In the aftermath of the annual health check, its data has been fired on by trusts and the Department of Health.

The commission evidently believed the self-declared scores on core standards were self-deluding - more than two thirds of trusts visited by the commission had their score cut.

But disputes have led to accusations of changing the question after the exam was over. There has also been wrangling over the way the data was calculated.

Meanwhile the DH has tanked in with complaints about the way GP access data was presented. The sums were right but it gave the impression the government had been wildly exaggerating its claims about access improvement.

All in all, a bit of a mess. It does appear a few trusts have been kidding themselves about their performance on core standards. But there are legitimate complaints about over-rigid interpretation of the rules by the commission.

Its chief executive, Anna Walker, has made a point of using the annual health check to present an encouraging picture of improvement. But in the case of some scores, commission pedantry appears to have got the better of common sense.