'Good' hospitals failing safety standards

A dozen hospitals are "significantly underperforming" basic safety measures despite nine of them being rated good or excellent by the official health regulator, a report said today, sparking a fierce argument over the accuracy of inspection regimes.

The latest Hospital Guide from the Dr Foster organisation also identified 27 trusts with unusually high mortality rates - totalling 5,000 more deaths than expected.

Of the 12 worst performing trusts in the new league table, nine were recently judged by the Care Quality Commission watchdog to be good or excellent.

Among those rated good was Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which last week had a task force ordered in to sort out a series of failings.

Monitor, the body which regulates foundation trusts, stepped in after a report slammed poor hygiene and standards of care and a death rate around a third higher than the national average.

The Conservatives today called for a "massive overhaul" of the inspection regime, saying the data highlighted an "extraordinary contrast" between the Dr Foster and "box ticking" official assessments.

Shadow health minister Stephen O'Brien said: "Clearly there needs to be a massive overhaul in the way that the inspection regime is working.

"The failed system of self assessment can't carry on and we need to rip up the performance indicators - above all stop the tick-box targets."

The head of the Care Quality Commission, Baroness Young, said some of the part NHS, part private Dr Foster data was "very legitimate" while some was "quite alarmist".

"Where they are good we will take them to account in our regulatory work and where they are flaky, we won't," she said. "We do a comprehensive programme of monitoring, on a much more detailed level."

Baroness Young has said she does not believe any other trusts are performing badly enough to merit another task force-style response seen in Basildon.

The other 11 trusts ranked lowest by Dr Foster were University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire; Weston Area Health Trust; South London Healthcare Trust; Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust; University Hospital of South Manchester and St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals Trust; Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust; Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals Foundation Trust; and Hereford Hospitals Trust are also among the 12, which are completed by Basildon and Thurrock; Lewisham; and Scarborough and North East Yorkshire.

Of these, St Helens and Knowsley was rated excellent by the CQC and three others - Mid Yorkshire, Weston and Scarborough and North East Yorkshire - were rated fair. The remainder achieved good ratings.

The Dr Foster research also uncovered widespread safety issues including 39% of trusts "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 at least 209 cases and surgeons operated on the wrong part of a body at least 82 times.

A total of 478 operations were also cancelled in 2008/09 because patient notes were missing.

And 848 of 5,024 people who died after being admitted for "low-risk" conditions were under 65.

Roger Taylor, the director of Dr Foster, defended his guide and said more information about trusts should be made public.

He said: "No hospital in the world would claim to be free of these kinds of errors.

"But what has been learned over the years is that recording what is happening, and making that information generally public, is the best way to start tackling the issues."

The day after the failures at Basildon emerged last week, the chairman of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust was removed following concerns about high death rates, leadership and waiting times.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham ordered an urgent review by regulators to find out whether any other trusts required "immediate investigation".

The CQC said it was monitoring a small number of hospitals, but had "no evidence that there is another trust in England where we would take action of the kind we have taken at Basildon".

A Department for Health spokesman said: "Patient safety is absolutely paramount and it must be the highest priority for everyone in the NHS."

He went on: "The CQC will keep the situation under close review and to report back to the Health Secretary with any further concerns.

"We have made real improvements in recent years and England is recognised as one of the world leaders in the international drive to improve the safety of healthcare.

"The vast majority of patients experience high quality, safe and effective care and the CQC's recent survey showed that 93% of patients rate their overall care as good or excellent."

It was discovered earlier this year that between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected in a three-year period at Stafford Hospital from 2005 to 2008.

Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

    Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

    Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

    £30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

    UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

    £45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

    Day In a Page

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

    Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

    A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
    Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

    Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

    Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
    Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

    Nick Clegg the movie

    Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
    Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

    Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

    Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
    Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

    Revealed (to the minute)

    The precise time when impressionism was born
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed