Demand for overhaul in wake of hospital report

A massive overhaul in the way hospitals are inspected was demanded yesterday, as a new report revealed that nine trusts rated excellent or good by the official health regulator were failing when it came to patient safety.

The latest Hospital Guide from the Dr Foster organisation rates hospitals according to "safety indicators" such as deaths, errors in surgery, infection rates and staff levels. It identified 27 trusts with unusually high mortality rates and said more than a third were found to be "failing to investigate unexpected deaths or cases of serious harm on their wards".

Items such as swabs and drill bits were left inside patients after surgery in 209 cases, and surgeons operated on the wrong part of a body at least 82 times. As many as 5,024 patients died after being admitted for "low-risk" conditions, of whom 848 were under 65. The fact that nine of the 12 worst performing trusts in the new league table were recently judged by the Care Quality Commission watchdog to be "good" or "excellent" led to a debate yesterday over the current inspection system.

"Clearly there needs to be a massive overhaul in the way that the inspection regime is working," said the shadow health minister, Stephen O'Brien. "The failed system of self-assessment can't carry on. We need above all to stop the tick-box targets."

And Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem health spokesman, called for a public inquiry. "The case is overwhelming, and we appear to have a system which seems to be able to deliver 'paper-safety' but not real 'patient safety'," he said. Katherine Murphy, director of the Patients Association, added: "What confidence can we have in a system that claims hospitals are excellent or good when in fact they are consistently under-performing?"

The lowest score in the guide went to Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which had a taskforce ordered in last week to sort out a series of failings. Monitor, the body that regulates foundation trusts, stepped in after a report criticised poor hygiene, standards of care and a death rate of about a third higher than the national average.

Yesterday, Baroness Young, head of the Care Quality Commission, said some of the Dr Foster data was "very legitimate" but some was "quite alarmist", insisting other trusts would not need the same taskforce response as Basildon. "We do a comprehensive programme of monitoring, on a much more detailed level," she said.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Systems and Network Support Analyst

    £26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Systems Support Analyst

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker / Trainee Broker / Closer - OTE £250,000

    £30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...

    Day In a Page

    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
    Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

    That's a bit rich

    The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
    Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
    Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

    Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

    Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
    A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

    Britain's Atlantis

    Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

    David Starkey's assessment
    Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

    'An enormous privilege and adventure'

    Oliver Sacks writing about his life
    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
    Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

    Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

    Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
    Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

    Set a pest to catch a pest

    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests