NHS to investigate high death rates at Medway Maritime Hospital
Medway NHS Foundation Trust runs Medway Maritime
by Jenni Horn
Medway NHS Foundation Trust is among nine more in the country to
be investigated over their mortality rates.
The NHS Commissioning Board said said the nine trusts have stood
out on the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) for two
years in a row.
The investigations follow Robert Francis QC's scathing
report that laid bare the events at Stafford Hospital between
2005 and 2009 - and which called for a "zero tolerance"
approach to poor standards in the health system.
Medical director Sir Bruce Keogh is to investigate Medway along
with 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
and Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Medway recently set up a working party, chaired by the local
director of public health, to address the issue of mortality
The trust, which runs Medway Maritime Hospital
in Gillingham, came in the bottom 12 of all 145 English
hospital trusts last December.
And figures released in 2011 revealed the Towns' main
hospital had 1,745 deaths in a year – 238 more than expected.
A Medway NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: "The trust has
been doing everything it can to understand the causes of a higher
than average HSMR result and to implement immediate actions where
"The trust welcomes further advice and input from the NCB
through this review process and is committed to ensuring a
continued focus on the provision of high quality, safe care for its
patients – working in partnership with families, carers and
"The purpose of the NCB's involvement is to assure patients and
speed up the improvements process by making sure the Trust has the
support it needs.
"Equally, the trust is committed to openness, transparency and
ensuring that feedback and comments from patients are not only
taken on board, but reflected in decision making."
Sir Bruce said: "These hospitals are already working closely
with a range of regulators. If there were concerns that services
were unsafe the regulators should have intervened.
"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."
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