Mid Staffs: 14 hospitals under investigation
A further 2,800 patients may have died needlessly as nine more hospitals
were identified as having worrying mortality rates over the last two years.
Nine more hospitals will be
By Rebecca Smith, Medical
10:30PM GMT 11 Feb 2013
Nine more hospitals will be investigated over high death rates in the wake of
the Francis report into the Mid Staffs scandal, it was announced today, bringing
the total to 14.
Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, will lead the probe to
establish if patients are at any immediate risk at the hospitals.
The hospital trusts were identified using data showing how many patients have
died within the last two years against the numbers expected.
The Daily Telegraph has calculated that it means 2,864 more patients died
than would be expected with death rates up to 20 per cent higher than average.
Along with the 3,000 excess deaths estimated at the five hospitals already
announced, it could mean that almost 6,000 more patients have died at the 14
hospital trusts than should have.
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The expansion of the investigation prompted campaign groups to renew their
call for Sir David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS, to resign. However
David Cameron and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt are understood to be happy with
Similar mortality rate analyses were used to estimate that between 400 and
1,200 patients died unnecessarily at Mid Staffs which led to the public inquiry.
It was the worst scandal the NHS has faced and Robert Francis QC made 290
recommendations after concluding his two year investigation.
The new hospitals now under investigation are: North Cumbria University
Hospitals NHS Trust; United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust; George Eliot
Hospital NHS Trus; Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust; Northern Lincolnshire
and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust;
Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Medway NHS Foundation Trust and
Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
In 2011 an inquest heard how Hildegard Mikalansky, 67, was admitted to Stoke
Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire after a fall and designated as ‘nil by
mouth’ by medics due to a risk of choking.
But, it took four days for staff to give her a feeding tube to supply her
with much-needed nutrients. By then, the mother of two’s condition had worsened
and she died the following day.
In February 2012 Edward Maitalnd, 74, died at Wycombe Hospital from
aspiration pneumonia when staff wrongly fed him solid food even though he should
have been on a liquid diet.
The new hopsitals are in addition to five announced last week which were
Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital NHS
Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Basildon
and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and East Lancashire
Hospitals NHS Trust.
Sir Bruce said: “These hospitals are already working closely with a range of
regulators. If there were concerns that services were unsafe the regulators
should have intervened.”
“The purpose of my investigation is to assure patients, public and Parliament
that these hospitals understand why they have a high mortality and have all the
support they need to improve. This will be a thorough and rigorous process,
involving patients, clinicians, regulators and local organisations.”
Sir Bruce told the Telegraph last week that the investigations would involve
analysing data but also experienced doctors and other experts would 'walk the
wards' and talk to patients.
Concerns about some of the hospitals have been raised for many years with
investigations and threats to improve already issued by various regulators.
Julie Bailey, founder of the Mid Staffs campaign group Cure the NHS, said she
had been receiving calls from anxious relatives of patients treated in these
hospitals for the last two years.
She said: "This announcement of nine more hospitals, now 14 in total, must be
the last straw for Sir David Nicholson. He must resign or be sacked, this has
all happened on his watch.
"These trusts are the same names that come up time and again. What people
forget is that behind the mortality rates are real people.
"The regulators may have been in to these hospitals and wagged their fingers
before but nothing has changed.
"It is positive that Sir Bruce is now going in and we welcome that, to stop
and make them safe must be the top priority."
She called for an NHS 'hit squad' of elite doctors and nurses that could go
into hospitals with problems and turn them around.
Mortality rates for the last two years show:
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 357 excess deaths, 18 per cent
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust - 532 excess deaths, 11 per cent
George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust - 225 excess deaths, 20 per cent above
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust - 236 excess deaths, 10 per cent above
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - 427 excess
deaths, 18 per cent above expected
The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust - 349 excess deaths, 11 per cent above
Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - 283 excess deaths, 13 per
cent above expected
Medway NHS Foundation Trust - 264 excess deaths, 11 per cent above expected
Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - 191 excess deaths, 12 per cent above
source: hospital standardised mortality ratios, Prof Brian Jarman, Dr Foster
Intelligence Unit, Imperial College
Rebecca Smith »
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