Investment will help prevent hundreds of hospital deaths on Fylde coast

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Health chiefs have agreed to plough £750,000 into an improvement plan which could save around 900 lives over the next three years.

The money will fund Blackpool Victoria Hospital's Quality Improvement Strategy up until 2022.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

The strategy will focus on cutting down the number of preventable deaths, reducing avoidable harm and improving care during the last 1,000 days of a patient's life.

It comes after Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has come under fire for having one of the highest mortality rates in the country for eight years in a row.

Data from the latest quarter of the Standardised Hospital Mortality Index, which is used to measure avoidable hospital deaths, showed the Trust had a rating of 116, compared to the national standard of 100.

It means in a 12-month timeframe the hospital had the opportunity to save an additional 315 lives.

A meeting of the Trust board held in public heard the aim of the strategy was to reduce the Trust's mortality rate to below the national average, which in real terms meant more than 900 lives would be saved over three years.

Key elements include recognising more quickly if a patient's condition was deteriorating, and reducing avoidable harm from risks such as falls and medication errors.

Improvements have already reduced delays in getting antibiotics to patients with Sepsis. The number who received antibiotics within an hour of arriving in A&E has increased by 37 per cent.

The strategy will also consider the care given to the most elderly patients, entering their last years of life, so that a long hospital stay does not impact negatively by affecting their mobility or mental skills.

The meeting heard as well as improving outcomes for patients, the plan would save money in the long run by resulting in fewer hospital stays.

Kevin McGee, interim chief executive of the Trust, said: "If we can really concentrate on quality, reduce lengths of stay and reduce avoidable harm we can reduce the cost pressure on the organisation.

"If we don't put that investment up front we can't make the quality savings further down the line."