NHS Statistics show worrying trends

Tuesday 8th October 2019

New figures from the NHS reveal hundreds of unexpected deaths between March 2018 and February 2019 at the following hospitals:

● New Cross Hospital, with a figure of 440 more deaths than expected

● Russells Hall Hospital, with a figure of 295 more deaths than expected

● Walsall Manor Hospital, with a figure of 145 more deaths than expected

Unfortunately, for New Cross Hospital it is now the second year running where hundreds more deaths than expected were recorded; previously the figure was 475.

In comparison, the University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust that runs Stafford and Royal Stoke Hospital recorded 4460 deaths across the Trust, 85 above the expected figure of 4375 and the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust that runs Sandwell General and Birmingham City Hospitals, recorded 2065 deaths, which is 110 above the expected figure of 1955.

Whilst the NHS mortality data does not identify unnecessary or avoidable deaths, the hospitals justify their mortality figures as being partly down to ‘fewer patients being admitted to hospitals and a high number of people admitted from care homes with end-of-life needs’.

It has also been reported that the A&E performance at some hospitals needs improvement. Recently the Russells Hall Hospital was criticised when just 69% of patients were seen within the national target of four hours during the month of May.

It is well known that hospitals’ A&E departments are under a huge pressure to meet the national target of 95% of patients to be seen, treated, admitted or discharged within four hours. It does not help that the average waiting time for a patient to see their own GP is now almost 15 days, according to a poll of UK doctors conducted by Pulse.

Recently, with a hope to reduce the waiting time to see GPs and reduce the pressure put on A&E departments, NHS England ordered surgeries to end the practice of half-day closing. Prior permission will need to be obtained by the surgery to shut during working hours, or they risk losing funding. GP Surgeries will also be made to create more appointments before 8am and after 6.30pm.

Nonetheless, more time needs to pass until the planned changes will take effect and start making a difference.

If you, or someone you know, have been affected by a delayed treatment or diagnosis, contact us here for advice.

Paulina Norberczyk, Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Waldrons Solicitors