400 unexplained hospital deaths

Well, Mid-Staffs NHS Foundation Hospital Trust and the 400 patient deaths there beyond the expected rate, does not appear to be the only area affected by the financially hothouse hotheaded rush for Foundation Trust Status that New Labour pushed vigorously as policy.

"HEALTH secretary Andy Burnham is facing calls for a probe into “shocking” death rates at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Trust hospitals" (Leigh Journal 1st Feb 2010)

So what are the unexpected death rates at this hospital?

"Mr Cubells said in 2007/8 there were more than 340 unexpected deaths."

What we also have here in this report is the UK Care Quality Commission being forced to think again about its monitoring role and the implication is it did not pick up the increased death rates but the Trust involved knows there were increases.

"The Trust was given Foundation Trust status last year, and managers say they brought the death rate back below average at the end of 2008-9." (Leigh Journal)

Once again foundation trust (FT) status and the rush for it is implicated. In the push for FT status hospitals typically had to clear "debts" which translated as curbing overspends on their Department of Health Primary Care Trust grants and this often meant decreasing staff ratio's and that put the quality of care at risk. The Francis Report into the Mid-Staffs 400 Deaths found that was a pattern at the Mid-Staffs NHS Trust which also rushed for FT status.