Nine more hospitals to be investigated over death rates

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Nine more hospital trusts are to be investigated over their mortality rates, health officials said.

The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) said the nine trusts have stood out on the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) for two years in a row.

Last week medical director Sir Bruce Keogh announced five hospitals would investigated. Nine more have now been added, which are:

::North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

:: United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

:: George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust

:: 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

:: Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Last week Sir Bruce said the five trusts to be probed were identified by the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) as having higher than expected death rates.

Figures suggest there were 3,000 more deaths than expected at 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 promised a “thorough and rigorous” investigation.

“These hospitals are already working closely with a range of regulators. If there were concerns that services were unsafe the regulators should have intervened,” he said.

“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.”

The investigations came after Robert Francis QC’s scathing report laid bare the”disaster” of Stafford Hospital.

His report’s findings highlighted the “appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of patients” between 2005 and 2009.

Patients were left for hours sitting in their own faeces, food and drink was left out of reach and hygiene was so poor that relatives had to clean toilets themselves.

But in his report, Robert Francis refused to point the finger at any organisation or individual, instead blaming an “insidious negative culture”.

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