Annual review of ‘avoidable deaths’

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Published: Sunday 8th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has ordered an annual review of “avoidable deaths”.

A yearly study of about 2,000 patient case notes is designed to establish how many deaths are avoidable, in a bid to cut the rate.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “The review will be used to establish a national rate of avoidable deaths every year, and on that basis place individual hospitals into bandings according to the number of deaths estimated locally.”

She added: “By March 2016, every hospital board will have the first of an annual series of projected avoidable mortality rates to inform and drive local improvement.

“The Health Secretary will require every hospital chairman to write to him upon receipt of their figures each year to update him on how they plan to eradicate avoidable deaths in their organisation.”

Mr Hunt said: “I’m determined to go even further in rooting out poor care, and have ordered a national case-note review to work out the percentage of avoidable deaths by hospital.

“I want all hospital boards to have a laser-like focus on eradicating avoidable deaths in their organisation; even one life lost to poor care or safety error is too many.”

Hospital mortality rates expert, Professor Nick Black, said: “A national annual review would place England as the first country in the world to monitor the extent of avoidable deaths, and provide a basis for stimulating quality improvement in each individual hospital.”

Published: Sunday 8th February 2015 by The News Editor

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