Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s high mortality rate has been flagged up in a new report, sparking a fresh investigation.
The Intelligent Monitoring Report, compiled by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and based on information from partners, staff and the public, outlines an “elevated risk” of failing care because of the high number of unexpected hospital deaths, particularly for patients with heart complaints.
The report also shows people have made use of the whistleblowing line at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and details a number of concerns outlined in a patients’ survey around their input into their care and treatment.
The Vic is one of 19 trusts to be included in the second wave of the new inspections by the CQC, which begins in January.
Its inspection, announced yesterday, is a follow up of the review carried out by Sir Bruce Keogh into hospitals, including the Vic, with higher than expected mortality rates.
The new inspections began in September and by 2015 all trusts will have been inspected and rated as either outstanding, good, requiring improvement or inadequate based on safety, level of care, effectiveness, leadership and response to people’s needs.
The Blackpool trust’s chief executive, Gary Doherty, said: “As part of the Keogh review we knew there would be a follow-up visit before March 2014 and we will welcome the inspection team and work with them to make sure we do all we can to make any positive changes necessary to improve patient care.
“We have been working extremely hard over the past months since the Keogh Report was published and are making good progress on making large improvements in a small number of key areas that were highlighted.
“We believe we have made great strides in recent months to deal with some of the issues highlighted in the Keogh report and see this follow up inspection as a real opportunity for us to focus on the things that really matter to people who use our services.”
Report is a ‘screening test’
The Intelligent Monitoring Report helps flag up the trusts that should be inspected sooner than others.
The inspections will see a mixture of unannounced and announced visits to the hospital, looking at key service areas including emergency departments, care of the frail elderly and outpatients.
The CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “I liken intelligent monitoring to a screening test; our inspection combined with intelligent monitoring provides the diagnosis, following which we make a judgement, which will in turn lead to action.
“Our monitoring helps to give us a good picture risk within trusts, showing us where we need to focus our inspections.
“We aim to publish the results at regular intervals. They will provide the basis for constant contact with NHS hospitals and other NHS organisations, and may lead to inspections in response to particular issues.”