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Video: Investigation into death rates at East Lancashire hospitals
EAST Lancashire Hospitals Trust is to be investigated over its high mortality rates, the NHS Commissioning Board has announced.
The news follows the publication of the Francis Report, an inquiry into the mistreatment and neglect of patients at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009.
Medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has now announced plans for an immediate investigation into five trusts, including East Lancashire Hospitals, because they have scored higher than expected on the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator for two successive years.
East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, which includes the Royal Blackburn Hospital and Burnley General Hospital, is 13 per cent above expectations, ranking them the fifth worst trust in the country.
Mark Brearley, chief executive at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We take this very seriously and we welcome the independent review by the NHS Commissioning Board.
“The trust has a mortality steering group that comprises of senior clinicians including the medical director and deputy medical director, who is also the chair of the Patient Safety Group, which is looking at the indices very carefully and will use them to identify where we can focus efforts to improve clinical practice and care.”
Kathy McLean, NHS Trust Development Agency medical director, said: “East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust represents a remarkable turnaround for a trust that only five years ago was struggling.
“The quality of care in the trust has improved significantly.
“However, it has continued to receive a low score on its mortality rates.
“We were assured that the trust was on a downward trend for its mortality rates having worked hard on improvements, including listening to feedback from patients, as well as receiving assurance from external bodies.”
Author of the report, Robert Francis, has made 290 recommendations to prevent any future unnecessary suffering of hospital patients including greater transparency, strong leadership and a patient-led service.
Dominic Harrison, director of public health, NHS Blackburn with Darwen, said: “We welcome any review of health care outcomes in the borough and will fully engage with partners in the health economy in this review. We know that Blackburn with Darwen has some of the worst life expectancy in England and we are working very hard to address the causes of these poor health outcomes.”
ABOVE: Robert Francis outlines his recommendations.