Scrutiny of hospital death rates

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Death rates at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital will come under scrutiny next week.

The hospital is run by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which is to be subjected to an investigation as part of a country-wide review of hospital trusts following the mid-Staffordshire scandal.

A report by the trust outlining death rates will be considered by Lincolnshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee on Wednesday.

Members will be able to consider and comment on the mortality rates and the work being done by United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust to reduce the levels of avoidable deaths.

The report states that historically the trust has exhibited a mortality rate higher than expected, with Pilgrim already being singled out by the trust for improvement work after reviews in 2011 by Care Quality Commission gave rise to significant concerns.

At that time the hospital was only compliant with four outcomes out of 16, with two major concerns, seven moderate concerns and three minor concerns.

It is it now compliant with 14 outcomes, with only minor concerns for two outcomes.

But it will still be subject to the Department of Health review, which will seek to determine whether there are any sustained failings in the quality of care and treatment provided to patients.

It will identify whether existing steps to improve things is adequate and whether additional steps should be taken.

It will involve a team of experienced clinicians, patients, managers and regulators observing the hospital in action.

The team will walk the wards and interview patients, trainees, staff and the senior executive team.

The trust’s report states: “The quality and safety of patient care is the trust’s number one priority.

“We very much welcome the review into the quality of care and treatment and will support and fully co-operate with the review.”