Primary care czar leads investigation into hospital's high death rates

DoH primary care czar Dr David Colin-Thomé is to investigate care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust over its 'appalling' emergency care and high death rates.

Dr David Colin Thomé (Photograph: Rob Clayton)

About 400 more people died at Mid Staffordshire Hospital between 2005 and 2008 than would be expected, according to the Healthcare Commission.

The commission said it was impossible to blame all the extra deaths on the hospital’s care but some would have died as a result.

The report, to be published tomorrow, says: ‘The clinical management of many patients admitted as emergencies fell short of an acceptable standard in at least one aspect of basic care. Some patients, who might have been expected to make a full recovery from their condition at the time of admission, did not have their condition adequately diagnosed or treated. Often, these shortcomings were not recognised and lessons were not learned.

‘The trust stabilised its finances and successfully focused on becoming a foundation trust. However, it lost sight of what should have been its main priority: to provide high quality care to all of its patients. It took a decision to significantly reduce staff without properly assessing the consequences. Its strategic focus was on financial and business matters at a time when the quality of care of its patients admitted as emergencies was well below acceptable standards.’

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