High death rate of Trust patients

THE NHS hospital trust which runs Lister in Stevenage has been exposed as having an abnormally high patient death rate. The death rate was 15 per cent higher than expected at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust last year, according to a report rele

THE NHS hospital trust which runs Lister in Stevenage has been exposed as having an abnormally high patient death rate.

The death rate was 15 per cent higher than expected at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust last year, according to a report released by Dr Foster - the UK's leading provider of comparative health stats.

The chairman of Colchester Hospital in Essex was sacked last week after it emerged death rates there were 12 per cent higher than expected.

An average of 2.08 patients in every 100 admitted into the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's care died during 2008/09.


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On 10 occasions a foreign object was left inside a patient after surgery at Lister, and on three occasions surgeons at the hospital operated on the wrong part of the body.

Missing notes resulted in 45 operations at Lister being cancelled.

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Dr Foster has given the Trust a rating of two out of five - with one being poor and five being excellent - for patient safety, ranking the Trust 115th out of 146 Trusts in the country.

The Trust's medical director, James Quinn, said: "Some areas have been identified where actions were required to improve performance and these have now been addressed."

Mr Quinn said last year's death rate rise has been taken "very seriously" and that "actions have been taken to remedy the situation".

According to the Trust, "significant problems" with how its patient data was being recorded had adversely skewed the 2008/09 death rate, but had no direct impact on the quality of care patients received.

Mr Quinn said over the first four months of this financial year the Trust's death rate has reduced by 23 per cent from its 2008/09 position, bringing it lower than expected. About 1.64 per cent of patients admitted into the Trust's care have died during the four-month period.

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