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Five Hospital Trusts Criticised For Mortality Rates Over Two Year Period

NHS Hospitals Need To Learn From Their Mistakes


Medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have called on hospitals across the country to ensure patients have access to the best possible care regardless of where they live after new statistics show death rates at five NHS trusts have been “higher than expected” over a two year period.

The mortality ratios at the five English trusts have been “persistently high” between July 2010 and June 2012 according to the Summary Hospital-Level Mortality Indictor survey, run by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

HSCIC analysts said mortality rates have been higher for the past two years 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.

David Body, national head of the Medical Law and Patient’s Rights Team at Irwin Mitchell, which acts for both patients and families of those suffered as a result of negligence, errors or substandard care at NHS hospitals across the UK, said:

“All patients across England have the right to access the best possible healthcare irrespective or where they live.

“The HSCIC survey raises serious concerns about the quality of care people can expect to receive and plans need to be put in place to improve the outcomes at these hospitals to ensure that patient safety is a priority.

“Many deaths arise from the use of increasingly complex clinical systems at NHS trusts and many hospitals also have staff or resource shortages, particularly because many senior clinicians have taken early retirement.

“All hospitals also have to cope with the demands of an ageing population and many trusts don’t put enough emphasis on learning lessons and improving systems when mistakes have been made.

These indicators should be seen as an “early warning mechanism” so trusts can examine why their score was higher than expected.