STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Revealed: NHS hospitals investigate one in seven deaths of vulnerable patients

Jeremy Hunt urged to investigate after trusts examine just 209 of 1,436 deaths of inpatients with learning disabilities

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, is facing calls for a nationwide inquiry into the deaths of highly vulnerable patients in NHS care after it emerged that just one in seven such fatalities in hospitals in England have been investigated.

Data released to the Guardian under freedom of information laws show that hospitals in England have investigated just 209 out of 1,436 deaths of inpatients with learning disabilities since 2011. Even among deaths they classed as unexpected, hospitals inquired into only a third. Just 100 (36.2%) of the 276 deaths in that category were the subject of an investigation, despite longstanding concerns that these patients receive poorer care and are at higher risk of dying while in hospital.

“The findings from this investigation are very concerning,” said Prof Mike Richards, England’s chief inspector of hospitals. “We’re keen to work with the Guardian to look at the new information in more detail. This will help us to plan the review that CQC [Care Quality Commission] is already committed to doing.”

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/20/revealed-nhs-hospitals-investigate-1-in-7-deaths-of-vulnerable-patients

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