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NHS chiefs launch probe into high hospital deaths
4:25pm Thursday 7th February 2013 in News
DEATH rates at two of the area's NHS hospitals are to be investigated.
The probe was announced in reaction to the official report into mistreatment and neglect of patients at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.
Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Essex County Hospital and Colchester General Hospital, is one of five trusts in the country to be investigated, the NHS Commissioning Board said.
They had ‘higher than expected’ death rates for two successive years to June 2012.
The figures compare the number of patients who die after being in hospital with the number who would be expected to die, given the types of patients treated there.
It considers all unexpected deaths that take place in a hospital, as well as those taking place within 30 days of going home.
The Colchester trust's figure for 2011/12 was 118 - but the expected number was 107.
The rate for unexpected deaths in hospital was within the expected range.
In a joint statement, trust chief executive Dr Gordon Coutts and clinical chief officer Dr Shane Gordonsaid they took all unexpected deaths very seriously.
They added: “The number of deaths at the trust’s hospitals has been falling progressively year-on-year and are within the expected levels on other indicators.
“Our organisations are working together to understand the root causes that contribute to unexpected deaths. We have implemented a comprehensive set of improvements to patient care, including increased consultant cover in our hospitals, particularly in A&E and admitting wards."
They said there had been significant improvements in the last 12 months with patients saying care at Colchester Hospital Trust was among the best in the country.
Yesterday the Francis Report was published that looked into events at the Staffordshire trust between 2005 and 2009 - one of the biggest scandals in the history of the NHS.
Up to 1,200 patients at two Mid-Staffordshire hospitals died in the four-year period through neglect.