Dr Foster good hospital guide

Posted on Tue, 04/12/2012

Dr David Beaumont, Medical Director at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust (which runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead), said:

“We are very concerned at the information presented in the Dr Foster guide which suggests that the Trust has marginally higher than expected mortality rates. This is something we have been aware of for the last six months and have been actively working on to understand the reasons behind this in more detail, especially as other measures used by the NHS to judge mortality rates indicate the Trust as being within expected ranges, including the Summary Hospital Mortality Indicator (SHMI), which is the nationally recognised indicator.

“Any unexpected death is taken extremely seriously here at the QE. We have an established mortality and morbidity steering group, which I chair personally. This group reviews all unexpected deaths which occur in the hospital. This process looks at the symptoms and conditions of the patient, the treatment they received at the hospital and the decisions taken by our medical and nursing staff. We pride ourselves on being an organisation which takes learning seriously and this is the most profound way in which we do this.

“Our chief executive, Ian Renwick, has made this issue his top priority and has set up a special task force made up of senior clinicians and others to undertake a full review and, of course, make all the improvements necessary to ensure that we continue to deliver our promise of high quality care for our patients.”

“We are also pleased to note strong performance reported in the Dr Foster Guide in elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy, elective knee replacement (long length of stay), elective surgery long length of stay and admissions where procedures are not performed.

“We also note Dr Foster’s analysis that we have performed poorly on seven day emergency readmissions and first to follow up ratio. These are areas we are aware of and have already established workstreams to deliver improvements.

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