Scunthorpe mortality rates among worst in the country, says scathing report
Mortality rates at the trust in charge of Scunthorpe General Hospital are one of the worst in the country, according to a scathing new report.
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has one of the worst ten mortality rates in the country, according to a report published today.
The report was commissioned by the North and North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.
The review was undertaken by Transforming Health Ltd.
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Dr Liz Scott, medical director at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Mortality figures were published last autumn that showed our trust, as well as other neighbouring trusts, had a higher than average mortality ratio.
“This is an issues for the whole health community and we are working hard within the trust to make sure that all possible factors are addressed.
“The trust has set up a mortality task group, which is investigating every area where there is a possibility of a higher mortality ratio and is also reviewing every death that occurs to see if anything could have been done differently.
“Their purpose is for us to monitor progress over time to make sure that we do all we can to provide the highest quality of care.”
The firm said today in a damning report that it was struck by the complexity of the health care system in Northern Lincolnshire, which results in there not being a single trust overseeing all health issues in the region.
Another major issue identified was the lack of nurses and senior members of staff on all wards.
To address the problem, each ward area has implemented a new rota system to ensure better management of staffing issues.
The report highlighted 40 issues that health bosses need to address.
Now an action plan to ensure that the points raised are tackled the issues in an effective and timely manner has been introduced.
The report was commissioned after the Department of Health introduced new rules to improve mortality rates at trusts across the UK in October last year.
Since that time, the trust has seen a slight reduction in the number of deaths.
However, the report highlights that more attention is needed to understand the clinical factors behind the high death rates.
It also highlighted how levels of care of deteriorating patients are some way behind other trusts.
Mr Oltunde Ashaolu, acting medical clinical director for the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole hospitals NHS foundation trust, said: “We want to reassure the public that patient care is our priority.
“Medicine is not static and we are always changing plans.
“With the new plans we will be able to treat our patients quickly and then mortality rates should drop.
“We are increasing the number of doctors and number of nurses to deliver the care quicker.”
The trust is tackling staffing issues through various mechanisms and levels have now increased over the past year, health chiefs say.
Concerns were also raised in the report about the care of older people.
The report raised concerns about problems with poor hygiene, a lack of help with washing, bedding not changed and toilet facilities being poor.
Karen Dunderdale, chief nurse for the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We take patient care very seriously and will continue to invest in nurses to help provide the highest level of care.
“We welcome the report as it helps us understand mortality levels.
“We have a new rota system which can monitor staffing levels and hope to fill vacancies.”
Some of the other issues raised by the report are the poor access to specialist support out of hours, insufficient resources such as Macmillan nurses and poor access to hospice facilities.
The report reveals that officials are also disappointed with the lack of end of life care and the overall hospital experience at Scunthorpe General Hospital.
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