NHS trust ‘failed to investigate hundreds of deaths’

Its so tempting to ration those services to people who don’t complain… as NHSreality pointed out in the beginning in about: My prediction is that the financial imperative, the dominance of “emergency” medicine to trump all other needs, will mean slowly but surely the softer areas of the health services, such as dementia, psychiatry and disability will be downgraded. Covert rationing by knee-jerk decisions will increase and only when there are sufficient numbers of the public with stories of failure that the politicians have to act, will something happen… Combining Health and Social Services had potential, but only when there was enough money to make the changes. Now the risks of failure are very high..

Michael Buchanan for the BBC news reports 9th December 2015: NHS trust ‘failed to investigate hundreds of deaths’

The NHS has failed to investigate the unexpected deaths of more than 1,000 people since 2011, according to a report obtained by BBC News.

It blames a “failure of leadership” at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

It says the deaths of mental health and learning-disability patients were not properly examined.

Southern Health, one of the country’s largest mental health trusts, has “serious concerns” about the report’s interpretation of the evidence.

The trust covers Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, providing services to about 45,000 people.

The investigation, commissioned by NHS England and carried out by Mazars, a large audit firm, looked at all deaths at the trust between April 2011 and March 2015.

During that period, it found 10,306 people had died.

Most were expected. However, 1,454 were not.

Of those, 272 were treated as critical incidents, of which just 195 – 13% – were treated by the trust as a serious incident requiring investigation (SIRI)….

…’Significant concerns’

An NHS England spokesman said: “We commissioned an independent report because it was clear that there are significant concerns.

“We are determined that, for the sake of past, present and future patients and their families, all the issues should be forensically examined and any lessons clearly identified and acted upon.”

It added: “The final full independent report will be published as soon as possible, and all the agencies involved stand ready to take appropriate action.”

Norman Lamb, who was the care minister in the coalition government, said the findings were shocking: “You end up with a sense that these lives are regarded somehow as slightly less important than others and there can be no second class citizens in our NHS.

“The thought is just horrifying and there have to be some answers from the trust.”

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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