Stafford Hospital aftermath- five more hospital trusts to be investigated
Five other hospitals trusts are to be investigated in the wake of the public inquiry into failings at Stafford Hospital.Neglect and abuse at the hospital led to hundreds of unnecessary deaths between 2005 and 2008.
In response to the inquiry, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that five other hospitals with persistently high death rates would be investigated.
All the trusts named have had high rates for two years.
They are 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.
Death rates are calculated by looking at the number of people that would be expected to die when taking into account the age and disease profile of the local population.
High death rates were one of the factors that triggered the original investigation into Stafford Hospital. While not necessarily proof there is a problem, they are a “smoke alarm” suggesting there could be.
The figures for the five hospitals were already known about within the NHS and were being monitored- however, the intervention has only now been ordered amid mounting concern about levels of care.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Cameron said: “I have asked the NHS medical director, Prof Bruce Keogh, to conduct an immediate investigation into the hospitals with the highest mortality rates and to check that urgent remedial action is being taken.”
The government’s full response to the public inquiry will come next month, however, it has already been announced that a new post of chief inspector of hospitals will be created in the autumn.
Speaking in the House of Commons, David Cameron said he was “truly sorry” for what happened at Stafford Hospital, which was “not just wrong, it was truly dreadful” and the government needed to “purge” a culture of complacency.
There has been anger from some quarters after nobody has so far lost their jobs as a result of the public inquiry.
Sir David Nicholson has been the focus of anger from families affected by the scandal. He is currently chief executive of the NHS and was in charge of the Regional Health Authority while death rates were high at Stafford Hospital.
Responding to calls for him to go, he said: “I think it’s perfectly understandable, I understand the anger that they feel, the upset that they feel about the treatment of their loved ones in Mid-Staffordshire hospital.
“I absolutely understand all of that. At the time I apologised and in a sense I apologise again to the people of Stafford for what happened, but apologies are not enough.”
You are correct Sir David Nicholson- apologies are not enough, Health Direct asks you to resign now.
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