STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

30,000 excess deaths in 2015 linked to cuts in health and social care

imgres Researchers exploring why there has been a substantial increase in mortality in England and Wales in 2015 conclude that failures in the health and social care system linked to disinvestment are likely to be the main cause.

There were 30,000 excess deaths in 2015, representing the largest increase in deaths in the post-war period. The excess deaths, which included a large spike in January that year, were largely in the older population who are most dependent on health and social care. Reporting their analysis in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the researchers from the University of Oxford with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine,  and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, tested four possible explanations for the January 2015 spike in mortality.

After ruling out data errors, cold weather and flu as main causes for the spike, the researchers found that NHS performance data revealed clear evidence of health system failures. Almost all targets were missed including ambulance call-out times and A&E waiting times, despite unexceptional A&E attendances compared to the same month in previous years. Staff absence rates rose and more posts remained empty as staff had not been appointed.

The researchers say that there are already worrying signs of an increase in mortality in 2016. Without urgent intervention, they say, there must be concern that this trend will continue.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-02-20-30000-excess-deaths-2015-linked-cuts-health-and-social-care

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Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized,

‘No criminal prosecutions’ of individuals over Stafford Hospital deaths

No doctor, nurse or manager will ever be held accountable for the hundreds of deaths at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009. A report released today, thought to be the very last one into high mortality rates there, confirmed no criminal prosecutions of individuals will take place.

But some of the families involved say this police report tells them nothing new and is a waste of money. The family of John Moore Robinson who died in 2006 have spoken to our health correspondent Stacey Foster.

Click on the link to see the video report by the family of John Moore Robinson who died in 2006

http://www.itv.com/news/central/2016-03-01/no-criminal-prosecutions-over-stafford-hospital-deaths/

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John Moore Robinson

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

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

imgres

Filed under: Disabilities, ,

Shortage of nurses ‘kills hundreds of patients after emergency surgery’: Investigation finds hospital with highest staffing levels have lowest death rates

  • Experts analysed the chance of dying within 30 days of being admitted for an emergency operation
  • Discovered five-fold variation in death rates across 156 NHS hospital trusts
  • Crucially, the hospitals with the worst survival records had far fewer nurses, doctors and surgeons 
  • Researchers linked a 7 per cent difference in death rates to staffing alone

Hundreds of patients die every year after emergency surgery because there are not enough nurses to care for them, research suggests. A five-year investigation into death rates in English NHS hospitals found those with the highest staffing levels had the lowest death rates.

Experts who analysed the chance of dying within 30 days of being admitted for an emergency operation discovered a five-fold variation in death rates across 156 NHS hospital trusts – from 1.6 per cent at the best trust to 8 per cent at the worst.  Crucially, the hospitals with the worst survival records had far fewer nurses, doctors and surgeons.

When the hospital trusts were divided into the best, middle and worst groups in terms of the number of nurses and doctors per patient – researchers linked a 7 per cent difference in death rates to staffing alone. This was despite the fact that patients at the best hospitals – many of which have specialist or trauma units – were often more seriously ill before surgery and more likely to suffer complications following operations.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3363527/Shortage-nurses-kills-hundreds-patients-emergency-surgery-Investigation-finds-hospital-highest-staffing-levels-lowest-death-rates.html

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Filed under: Hospital, , ,

Poor hospital care blamed for thousands of deaths from sepsis every year: Nearly half of patients die or end up disabled because cases are diagnosed late

  • Condition affects estimated 200,000 people a year in UK and kills 37,000
  • Sepsis occurs when bacterial infection sparks violent immune response
  •  Early signs of condition include fever, inflammation and blood clotting
  •  But warnings are often missed by doctors and can lead to heart failure

Basic failings in hospital care are contributing to thousands of deaths from sepsis every year, according to a damning report. Known as the ‘silent killer’, the condition affects an estimated 200,000 people a year in Britain and kills 37,000 – more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined. Early signs of sepsis – which usually occurs when a bacterial infection sparks a violent immune response in which the body attacks its own organs – include fever, inflammation and blood clotting. But these warnings are often missed by doctors and, if not recognised quickly, can lead to failure of the heart, liver, kidneys or lungs. It is the leading cause of avoidable death in the UK.

An audit, conducted by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death, found that there were delays in diagnosing sepsis in 36 per cent of cases, rising to 52 per cent in severe cases.  Even when the condition was suspected, treatment to bring it under control was not always given quickly. The report found that a third of hospitals had no formal protocol for tackling the problem and that 45 per cent of patients admitted with sepsis either died or suffered a major disability.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3331180/Poor-hospital-care-blamed-thousands-deaths-sepsis-year-Nearly-half-patients-die-end-disabled-cases-diagnosed-late.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Filed under: Hospital, , ,

750 avoidable deaths a month in NHS hospitals, study finds

“THIS IS WHY YOU NEED MYNOTES MEDICAL”

One in 28 deaths can be attributed to poor care and study says standard death rates should not be used to rank quality of care

About 750 patients a month in NHS hospitals are dying unnecessarily, the largest review of “avoidable deaths” has found. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said “One in 28 deaths could be attributed to poor care such as inattentive monitoring of the patient’s condition, doctors making the wrong diagnosis or patients being prescribed the wrong medicine”.

In February, the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced that hospitals in England would be required to monitor the rate of avoidable deaths and that officials would rank trusts on this measure. Hunt said the rate of avoidable deaths in hospitals was the “biggest scandal in global healthcare” and estimated that 1,000 patients died needlessly each month. He said healthcare should learn lessons from the airline industry, where annual deaths worldwide had fallen from 2,000 in the 1970s to 500 now.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jul/14/avoidable-deaths-nhs-hospitals-study

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , , ,

600 patients die of hunger and thirst every year: Hospital staff refuse to help, say families

Almost 600 patients are dying in hospitals each year because of hunger and thirst, figures show. Bereaved relatives have told how their loved ones were ‘forgotten to death’ by staff who refused to help them eat or drink. Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that 7,949 deaths have been attributed to hunger and thirst in the past decade.  In recent years, however, numbers have fallen – suggesting the standards of nursing care are showing signs of improvement.

The figures show that in NHS and private hospitals in 2013, dehydration was recorded as an underlying cause of death or a contributory factor in 574 deaths. In 2008 the total was 942. In 2013 a further 336 deaths were logged with malnutrition being an underlying cause or contributory factor. The two figures cannot be added together to give a total because some patients would have been recorded in both categories. Another 88 deaths in care homes in 2013 were attributed to dehydration and 33 to malnutrition, according to the figures which were obtained by Channel 4 News. The family of a retired engineer who died of acute dehydration have told how staff dumped drinks by his bed without bothering to help him reach them.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2971384/600-patients-die-hunger-thirst-year-Hospital-staff-refuse-help-say-families.html

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‘Forgotten to death’: Almost 600 patients are dying in hospitals each year because of hunger and thirst, figures show, with bereaved relatives saying staff refused to help them eat or drink. (Stock image)

Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, , , , , ,

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