East Lancashire hospital death rates rise again

DEATH rates for patients treated at East Lancashire hospitals, including the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General, remain higher than expected for the second year running.

Local patients’ spokesman Russ McLean said the new national NHS figures had made him “very concerned” and he was to quiz bosses about them.

The mortality ratios at five English NHS trusts, including East Lancashire Hospitals, have been “persistently high” from July 2010 to June 2012, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator compares patients dying during or within 30 days of hospital treatment with the number expected to die, adjusted for factors such as deprivation.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, 13 per cent above expectations, was the fifth worst in the country in the year to June 2012 — the same as in the 12 months to June 2011.

Medical director Rineke Schram said: “The population of East Lancashire has some of the poorest health and deprivation indices in the country. The Trust agrees that the indicator should be used as a warning signal rather than a judgement.

“Clinicians at the trust systematically review mortality data from all causes.

“This includes reviewing every patient’s death to see if anything could have been done differently, and looking at trends and patterns in disease categories to see if different treatments or methods of management should be introduced.”

Mr McLean, chair of Pennine Lancashire Patients Voices Group, said: “I am very concerned that this is the second year the trust’s figures are higher than expected and I shall be raising this issue with the trust.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the figures were an early warning sign and trusts should investigate and act.

Ian Woolley, who for 20 years chaired the Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Hospitals Trust, said: “These figures are an early warning signal. I am confident that clinicians will investigate them and take the appropriate actions.”

Royal College of Nursing North-West Director Steve Flanagan said: “The Health Secretary has asked the trust to examine these figures carefully and we look forward to receiving an assurance they are providing safe, high-quality care”.

Comments (10)

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1:36pm Fri 25 Jan 13

mavrick says...

You can not have high quality care using temporary and agency staff. Why is the east lancs trust not retaining top clinicians? The accountants will say the staffing numbers are up to scratch, what they won't tell you is that the numbers are agency and bank staff. The truth is they need full time staff on the different departments especially the wards. The doctors and nurses who are on the wards regularly get to know the patients. The RBH has been under staffed for quite some time. the staff are overstretched. I wonder if that has anything to do with the mortality rates. I spent sometime in the RBH as a patient and I will be extremely reluctant to go in as a patient again. There is not much point in complaining as it simply receives a bog standard reply, The management of the trust has a lot of explaining to do. I think it is time for a review of the management.
You can not have high quality care using temporary and agency staff. Why is the east lancs trust not retaining top clinicians? The accountants will say the staffing numbers are up to scratch, what they won't tell you is that the numbers are agency and bank staff. The truth is they need full time staff on the different departments especially the wards. The doctors and nurses who are on the wards regularly get to know the patients. The RBH has been under staffed for quite some time. the staff are overstretched. I wonder if that has anything to do with the mortality rates. I spent sometime in the RBH as a patient and I will be extremely reluctant to go in as a patient again. There is not much point in complaining as it simply receives a bog standard reply, The management of the trust has a lot of explaining to do. I think it is time for a review of the management. mavrick

3:29pm Fri 25 Jan 13

HecticBigBoy says...

The area trust has had a bad reputation for years, they refused to do an operatrion on my eye as it was too risky for the surgeon!!! Yet i went to manchester and they said yes not a problem and did it within 2 months. I also had a hernia op at Burnley, was in immense pain after the operation, was told i'd be in for a few days, half an hour later sent home and told if you go home you've less chance of catching something !!!!
The area trust has had a bad reputation for years, they refused to do an operatrion on my eye as it was too risky for the surgeon!!! Yet i went to manchester and they said yes not a problem and did it within 2 months. I also had a hernia op at Burnley, was in immense pain after the operation, was told i'd be in for a few days, half an hour later sent home and told if you go home you've less chance of catching something !!!! HecticBigBoy

3:58pm Fri 25 Jan 13

VicLou says...

Unfortunately, speaking from experience, most of the problems at East Lancs Trust stem from poor managment. With the exception of a few, most senior managers in this trust are either bullies, incompetent, have no backbone, or do not have patient care as a priority!! A serious shake up is required, get rid of the nasty people and get some nice genuine hard working Managers who do team work really well!!!!
Unfortunately, speaking from experience, most of the problems at East Lancs Trust stem from poor managment. With the exception of a few, most senior managers in this trust are either bullies, incompetent, have no backbone, or do not have patient care as a priority!! A serious shake up is required, get rid of the nasty people and get some nice genuine hard working Managers who do team work really well!!!! VicLou

4:38pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Sue Lee says...

Who is Mr McLean & who does he represent? How can we join his little group?
Who is Mr McLean & who does he represent? How can we join his little group? Sue Lee

6:08pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Upbonkbob says...

I recently lost my wife in RBH, the consultant said she would make a full recovery, the doctors and nurses were terrible and basically let her die. Never ever go to RBH. Once in they don't want you to come out.
I recently lost my wife in RBH, the consultant said she would make a full recovery, the doctors and nurses were terrible and basically let her die. Never ever go to RBH. Once in they don't want you to come out. Upbonkbob

9:06pm Fri 25 Jan 13

noddy57 says...

Like l said earlier, hospitals are not the safe environments they used to be, they leave a lot to be desired,people going in with a broken leg and then dying of blood poisening,just 1 of many over the last year,make your own mind up,
Like l said earlier, hospitals are not the safe environments they used to be, they leave a lot to be desired,people going in with a broken leg and then dying of blood poisening,just 1 of many over the last year,make your own mind up, noddy57

12:05pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Fire Fly says...

Common sense tells you that our death rate will be substantially higher due to our population.

We have a large Asian population & we also have some of the most deprived area's in the country. Diet & co-morbidities, general health etc from these 2 groups play a huge part in death figures but little gets said about it. Instead a lot of people blame the staff, management, surgeons etc.

If you've got problems coming from diet, genetic factors, general health care etc & you then need an op...the best surgeon in the world couldn't promise to keep you alive because those factors will have a massive part in how/if you recover.

I agree this trust has its fair share of poor medical staff but it also has some amazing ones too. I was an inpatient this week & I have to say...wonderful doesn't cover the care/treatment I received from everyone concerned.

I'm all for this kind of data being publicised but i'd much rather it came with information that explains it properly to the general public. The information given is pathetically vague.
Common sense tells you that our death rate will be substantially higher due to our population. We have a large Asian population & we also have some of the most deprived area's in the country. Diet & co-morbidities, general health etc from these 2 groups play a huge part in death figures but little gets said about it. Instead a lot of people blame the staff, management, surgeons etc. If you've got problems coming from diet, genetic factors, general health care etc & you then need an op...the best surgeon in the world couldn't promise to keep you alive because those factors will have a massive part in how/if you recover. I agree this trust has its fair share of poor medical staff but it also has some amazing ones too. I was an inpatient this week & I have to say...wonderful doesn't cover the care/treatment I received from everyone concerned. I'm all for this kind of data being publicised but i'd much rather it came with information that explains it properly to the general public. The information given is pathetically vague. Fire Fly

1:01pm Sat 26 Jan 13

kate11 says...

Maverick you are spot on!! Firefly you must be a manager at the Trust as I have never heard such rubbish in my life and any nurse can tell you they are overworked and the Trust relies on their goodwill to work extra hours without pay or thanks!! Every Trust in the country will have patients that have poor diet etc but it is down to the managers in that Trust to deal with these issues not bury their heads in the sand and make out that it is someone elses problem !! This Trust has undergone constant reorganisations for about the last 5-6 years. Managers have come and gone! Staff have been bullied into this reorganisation and are constantly on the move and have to suffer constant interviews for their own jobs and then the humiliation of being downgraded to save money!! Managers do not listen to staff and in the end due to low morale they leave or retire early!! They are leaving in droves from East Lancs! Newly qualified staff are employed as it costs less! But they are inexperienced and make mistakes! Some of these had the potential to be fatal! They too are overworked and underpaid for the job they undertake.. Managers at this Tust need to take a long hard look at themselves and how they manage this Trust! Dont hide behind other issues!
Maverick you are spot on!! Firefly you must be a manager at the Trust as I have never heard such rubbish in my life and any nurse can tell you they are overworked and the Trust relies on their goodwill to work extra hours without pay or thanks!! Every Trust in the country will have patients that have poor diet etc but it is down to the managers in that Trust to deal with these issues not bury their heads in the sand and make out that it is someone elses problem !! This Trust has undergone constant reorganisations for about the last 5-6 years. Managers have come and gone! Staff have been bullied into this reorganisation and are constantly on the move and have to suffer constant interviews for their own jobs and then the humiliation of being downgraded to save money!! Managers do not listen to staff and in the end due to low morale they leave or retire early!! They are leaving in droves from East Lancs! Newly qualified staff are employed as it costs less! But they are inexperienced and make mistakes! Some of these had the potential to be fatal! They too are overworked and underpaid for the job they undertake.. Managers at this Tust need to take a long hard look at themselves and how they manage this Trust! Dont hide behind other issues! kate11

2:15pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Fire Fly says...

Kate11...same old!! If you can say deaths rates have nothing to do with the make up of a population, you are the one who knows nothing.

Your arguments above, have nothing to do with the story as such. Blackburn could blow up tomorrow & you would find a way the blame the managers in the NHS.

Managers cannot make someone take responsibility for their health...they either do or they don't & in area's of deprivation...they don't. Diet does have an impact...an asian diet is traditionally higher in saturated fats, so the incidence of heart disease is higher. Heart problems lead to other health issues. Japan used to have the lowest breast cancer rates in the world...due to their diet.

Fact - co-morbidities have an impact on death rates.
Kate11...same old!! If you can say deaths rates have nothing to do with the make up of a population, you are the one who knows nothing. Your arguments above, have nothing to do with the story as such. Blackburn could blow up tomorrow & you would find a way the blame the managers in the NHS. Managers cannot make someone take responsibility for their health...they either do or they don't & in area's of deprivation...they don't. Diet does have an impact...an asian diet is traditionally higher in saturated fats, so the incidence of heart disease is higher. Heart problems lead to other health issues. Japan used to have the lowest breast cancer rates in the world...due to their diet. Fact - co-morbidities have an impact on death rates. Fire Fly

8:44pm Wed 30 Jan 13

morganonthewing says...

The Liverpool Care Pathway has an impact on death rates too - especially if it is abused
The Liverpool Care Pathway has an impact on death rates too - especially if it is abused morganonthewing

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