I am actually very, very angry today. The Telegraph reports that analysis by the highly respected Prof Sir Brian Jarman shows that our hospitals in Lincolnshire have, over the period 2009 to 2012, the second highest level of ‘excessive’ deaths out of all hospitals Trusts in England.
677 more than expected.
Now to be fair it is very difficult to measure what an ‘expected’ mortality rate is and often these sorts of headlines can be misleading, but given that Lincolnshire’s hospitals are virtually the worst funded in the country, given the numerous interventions by the Health Regulator, the CQC, in United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust particularly at Boston Pilgrim Hospital (expressing concerns about staffing levels and the quality of care) it seems inevitable that some patients will have come to harm in our overstretched and underfunded hospitals. But concerns have been expressed by many and covered up by others spending £0.5m in so doing.
But who gives a damn about our grossly underfunded and under pressure local hospitals – well enough to do anything about it?
Probably not some of our Conservative MP’s who have, with few exceptions, been noticeable by their absence? Not Labour either; they ran the NHS for over 10 years in the past 15 and did not fix Lincolnshire’s funding in spite of Lincoln City having, in Gillian Merron MP, a Junior Health Minister? Possibly not many of the local or regional bureaucrats too frightened to speak out and challenge the culture of the NHS, so roundly condemned in the Francis Report on Mid Staffordshire? Perhaps not Stephen Dorrell Conservative MP and Chair of the Parliamentary Health Select Committee who refused to look at it? And what about the NHS’s national Chief Executive, David Nicholson still clinging to his £260k pa job by his fingertips?
What makes the anger even greater, is that they had all been put on notice of problems in Lincolnshire to a lesser or greater degree.
Sign up now to this blog, as in the next few days there will be revelations which will appall you, truly appall you. Worse is to come. You, like me, will then be angry, very angry indeed.