Letters - December 7, 2012

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THE Gazette report “Hospital named among worst 12” on 
December 3 is quite alarming and the Trust’s explanation of the circumstances does nothing to 
reassure me.

The statistics are not out of date, they are published every quarter by the Department of Health and cover a period from March 2010 to March 2012. At each quarter point Blackpool have been in the 
bottom division.

Dr O’Donnel’s comments on his staff’s ‘misallocation’ of admission codes sounds unconvincing, as the level of ‘error’ will be the same throughout the NHS nationally, unless Dr O’Donnell is saying his staff are particularly good at misdiagnosis or he is not very good at making proper survey returns to the NHS.

The last paragraph of your article also worries me. It seems the Trust has proffered The Gazette a set of their in house statistics to convince us of their position; a bit like saying we have a wonderful climate because we don’t suffer any frosts between April and September.


Oxford Road


FOOTNOTE: A Blackpool Hospitals NHS Trust spokesman said: “Figures used by the Dr Foster Hospital Guide date from April 2011 to March 2012 and therefore do not reflect the current position. The figures quoted use the same methodology as Dr Foster and show that since July 2012 we have dipped below the national average and are continuing on a downward trend.

“In March 2012 we commissioned an independent healthcare improvement body to review the Trust’s mortality data. They concluded there were no areas of clinical concern but highlighted an issue with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals’ primary admission coding. Significant work is ongoing to improve engagement between coders and clinicians to rectify this.”

WE have been told Poulton Road railway bridge connecting Carleton to Poulton will be closed for five months from 
early January.

So it is to be hoped the relevant Carleton and Poulton councillors are already thinking ahead on everyone’s behalf, anticipating the nightmare tailbacks that will inevitably occur at the T-junction of Blackpool Road and Blackpool Old Road, close to Carleton railway crossing. The only way the extra traffic will be properly managed at this always-busy junction is by installing temporary traffic lights to give motorists a chance to get where they want to go. Would councillors confirm they are insisting on this condition or will we be simply “unwise” after the event?


IN defence of newspapers and reporters across the country, I have found them to be people of the highest morals and honesty; in fact I attended college with Bill Peebles who was determined to be a reporter, this he achieved despite being the only male in the typing school.

Do not tar them all with the Murdoch brush, they do not deserve it.

We are blessed in
Blackpool by a group of reporters who believe in what is right and vigorously investigate to achieve this aim. Legislation against our press must not happen, so a more rigorous approach is needed from the industry itself to avoid this. Best of luck to our
local team and a Happy Christmas.