Tuesday 30 November 2010

'Alarmingly high death rates' at two London hospital trusts

Patients are dying in higher numbers than expected at two London hospital trusts, a report reveals.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS trust and South London Healthcare NHS trust are shown to have alarmingly high death rates.

They are among 19 hospital trusts out of 147 in England which have been singled out for worrying mortality levels.

The influential Dr Foster Hospital Guide, which Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has applauded for allowing patients to make better choices about their treatment, said Barking, Havering and Redbridge was one of the poorest performing, with only three trusts having higher death rates. It also fares badly for care of stroke patients.

Source:Evening Standard

Monday 22 November 2010

Inquiry Hears Of 'Utter Neglect' At Hospital

A woman has told how a "callous" doctor said her sick mother would not be resuscitated and suffer a painful death at Stafford Hospital.

The families of people who died at the hospital have started giving evidence at the public inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire Trust.

The inquiry is looking into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of up to 1,200 people.

An earlier independent inquiry accused management of putting cost-cutting above patient care.

Julie Bailey described conditions on her mother's ward as "bedlam" and "utter chaos".

"People were screaming in pain: 'Nurse, nurse'," she said.

"It was just total and utter neglect of vulnerable people, night after night people crying out.

"Some with eyes crusted up, mouths bleeding. My mum asked me to call the police."

Ms Bailey's mother Bella died at the hospital in 2007 at the age of 86.

At one stage, Ms Bailey was taken aside by a doctor and told: "It is likely she will die over the weekend.

"He said, 'It will be a painful death and she will die just like that', and snapped his fingers. There would be no resuscitation."

Ms Bailey went on: "I couldn't believe how callous he was and how he was speaking.

"It was such chaos that I feared for my own life as well as my mother's. There was no control."

It was just total and utter neglect of vulnerable people, night after night people crying out.

Ms Bailey described how conditions were worse at weekends and on several occasions she saw people drinking out of flower vases.

She complained about it and was told that water jugs had to be taken away and washed overnight for health and safety reasons.

Ms Bailey was one of the leading campaigners in bringing about the public inquiry, which could sit well into the middle of next year.

A previous report concluded that between 2005 and 2008 at least 400 patients died unnecessarily - but it could have been as many as 1,200.

The main aim of the inquiry is to examine why regulatory and supervisory agencies allowed "appalling" care to go on for so long.

Source: Sky News

Friday 12 November 2010

Stafford Hospital: Investigation Launched As Twin Babies Die After Treatment At Scandal-Hit Hospital

An investigation has been launched after newborn twins died following an apparent mistake involving a drug at a scandal-hit NHS hospital.

The baby boys died 11 days ago at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust.

They had been transferred from Stafford Hospital, which is run by the separate Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Bosses there told The Guardian newspaper a report into the incident concluded it involved "wrong rate of infusion".

The trust said a member of staff had been suspended following the deaths.

It is impossible to say whether it has got anything to do with systemic problems at the trust or whether it is a tragic one-off

Chief executive Antony Sumara added: "We have commissioned a full external investigation into the events while the twins were at our hospital.

"This is under way and is being led by an independent paediatric doctor.

"At present we have suspended one member of staff."

A spokeswoman for the hospital would not comment on the exact circumstances surrounding the boys' deaths.

Campaigners had fought a lengthy battle for a public inquiry into Stafford Hospital

Stafford Hospital is at the centre of a public inquiry into substandard care and practices that led to hundreds of deaths.

There is no suggestion the latest tragedy is linked to previous failings at the hospital.

Peter Walsh, chief executive of patient safety charity Action Against Medical Accidents, said of the babies' deaths: "It is impossible to say whether it has got anything to do with systemic problems at the trust or whether it is a tragic one-off."

The public inquiry into care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009 was opened in Stafford on Monday.

Chaired by Robert Francis QC, it follows an earlier independent investigation which disclosed a catalogue of failings at the trust, which also runs Cannock Chase Hospital.

Source: Sky News

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Spending Other People’s Money On Other People….

The Fryatt Hospital and Mayflower Medical Centre in Harwich, Essex, opened in December 2005, having been built using a scheme similar to the private finance initiative (PFI).

But since its opening, the hospital has been dogged by problems.

There was a three-year delay in getting GPs to move into the centre, half the floor had to be replaced, people were unhappy with the fact that its minor injuries unit was not open at night, and its x-ray department was cut to three days a week.

However, most complaints centred on the fact that its operating theatre was not being used. It was intended for minor procedures including foot operations.

Now North East Essex Primary Care Trust, which runs the hospital, has admitted it never will be.
Don’t panic, though! No-one’s been sacked or demoted for this. You see, it’s all the fault of…unforeseen changes.

Well, the lack of use of the theatre part, anyway. The report doesn’t say what amazing, innovative excuse the Trust came up with for all the other complaints…
Matt Bushell, acting chief executive, said changes in patient safety regulations regarding anaesthetics since its opening meant the operating theatre was now no longer "viable".
It’s impossible to renovate it, then?
A spokesman for the trust added that it had been "the victim of unfortunate timing" regarding changes in legislation.
Or the victim of utterly incompetent management…
Mr Bushell stressed that the theatre only took up about five per cent of the space of the hospital, which offered more than 60 health services.

John Brown from Harwich Town Council described the new hospital as a "white elephant" and said: "It has been a waste of money."

"For the millions it cost to build the new hospital they should have spent a fraction of that renovating the old hospital," he said.