Further Trusts are said to be offering inadequate care to patients - Foster Report

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Following last Friday's revelations about Basildon and Thurrock University NHS Trust, 12 more trusts have now been judged to offer poor standards of patient care.

Dr Foster, an NHS partner organisation that collates and analyses healthcare data, also highlights 27 trusts with unusually high death rates. Almost 5,000 more patients in their care died in the past year than was expected. In addition, 5,024 people died after being admitted for "low-risk" conditions such as asthma or appendicitis, of whom 848 were under 65. Some of those deaths may be as a result of safety errors.

Urgent steps are being ordered by the Department of Health and The President of the Royal College of Surgeons, John Black has blamed meeting financial targets for the lowering of standards, leading to systemic failures.

The findings of the latest research include:

  • more than a third of trusts failing to investigate unexpected deaths or cases of serious harm on their wards
  • 209 incidents in which "foreign objects", such as swabs and drill-bits, were left inside patients after surgery
  • 82 cases in which medical staff operated on the wrong part of the patient's body

It is clear that far from being an isolated problem in one or two NHS trusts, that many more are failing and there has been criticism for a system of self regulation that permits trusts to assess their own performance. External monitoring clearly shows that there are significant levels of under performance putting patient safety at considerable risk.

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