Francis report hospital investigation widens

A further nine hospitals with high mortality rates are being investigated in the wake of the Francis report into the failings of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh: hospital investigation widened
Professor Sir Bruce Keogh: hospital investigation widened

NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh announced on Monday that a further nine hospitals will be looked at as part of an investigation ordered by prime minister David Cameron.

Sir Bruce said the hospitals were chosen because they have been outliers for two years on the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR), which measures whether a hospital's death rate is higher or lower than expected.

The report on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry chaired by Robert Francis QC recommended that 'GPs need to undertake a monitoring role on behalf of their patients who receive acute hospital and other specialist services'.

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 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.’

The further nine hospitals to be investigated are:

  • 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
  • Medway NHS Foundation Trust
  • Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The timescale and terms of reference for the investigation have yet to be confirmed. The government is due to publish a full response to the Francis report’s 290 recommendations next month.

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