Sunday, 17 June 2012

Tens of thousands of avoidable deaths

On 16 March 2013, Professor Sir Brian Jarman accused New Labour ministers and officials of ignoring data on high death rates for a decade.

Speaking of 14 hospital trusts with higher-than-average death rates, he said this on BBC Radio 4's Today programme:
"There must be at least tens of thousands of avoidable deaths in those hospitals alone, when we should have been going in and we should have been looking at them.

Those hospitals which had persistently high death rates over all those years and have now been listed for investigation should have been investigated earlier, because it’s quite possible we would have had fewer deaths in those hospitals...

For the last 10 years there were about four (hospitals) who have had continuously very high adjusted death rates. Actually I sent to the Secretary of State in March 2010, Andy Burnham, a list of hospitals which had high mortality rates...

You have seen at Mid Staffs and we've seen at other hospitals that when they have actually gone in and looked they have been able to reduce the death rates.

We are talking about people dying there."
Between 400 and 1,200 more patients died at Mid Staffordshire NHS trust between 2005 and 2008 than would normally have been expected, as managers cut costs and the number of nurses was cut. This measure was taken to improve cost-efficiency, necessary, so they thought, if the hospital was to gain the vaunted 'foundation status.'

Foundation hospitals being New Labour's attempt to bring about 'privatisation by the back door.'

Andy Burnham, New Labour's last Health Secretary, who did not act upon the Professor's advice, responded thus:
"We began a whole journey of improvements in the NHS... I inherited a hospital in crisis and I had to help it get better... Yes, I stopped short of ordering a full public inquiry at that point, because I wanted to make sure the hospital could get on and improve."
After twelve years of management and dogma-first New Labour certainty, a top party hack informs us that he 'inerited a hospital in crisis.' A 'crisis' which may well have claimed the lives, according to the good Professor, of 'tens of thousands' of British people.

This is what the British people vote for.

This is what they will vote for again.


  1. Just as well someone is still commenting lest this state of affairs is forgotten...