Consultant speaks out over Royal Bolton death rates probe

Consultant speaks out over Royal Bolton death rates probe

Consultant speaks out over Royal Bolton death rates probe

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , health reporter

A LEADING Bolton consultant has spoken out for the first time about the “devastating” probe into hospital death rates.

Dr Kevin Jones — lead consultant for acute medicine at the Royal Bolton Hospital — has strongly criticised the investigation into sepsis coding led by health information experts Dr Foster Intelligence.

As a consultant in acute medicine, Dr Jones was one of the consultants to come under scrutiny in February, 2013, for “significant discrepancies” in data.

Dr Jones said: “It came as a big shock to all of us when it first happened. The fact that people believed that we could be fiddling with mortality figures just broke my heart.

“As one of the three doctors who had been working on improving coding for about four years I was therefore one of the ones investigated.

“I was deeply hurt that people I had worked with for years could be persuaded by this appalling audit.

“People I know were calling me up asking me what had happened and all the while we were just trying to carry on.”

Dr jackie Bene, who at the time of the investigation was acting chief executive of the Trust and who has now been given the post on a permanent basis, “stepped aside” while the probe took place.

Dr Jones said: “It made things very difficult for us and what happened to Dr Bene was terrible. She is a woman of immense integrity and to step aside like that was awful. She was even reported to the GMC at one point, which was just unthinkable.”

The hospital was later cleared of any wrongdoing but the report did raise questions about the way sepsis — which loosely means an infection — is understood by clinicians, coders and analysts.

Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratios (HSMRs) have been published by Dr Foster Intelligence since 2001 and were credited with helping uncover excessive death rates at hospitals such as Mid-Staffordshire.

In a recent File on 4 programme, Professor Nick Black — whose review will be handed to NHS medical Sir Bruce Keogh this year — has warned that current measures can give a misleading picture of a hospital's performance.

Critics of Dr Foster — which include Mr Jones — have gone further to argue such investigations have “trashed” the reputation of hospital’s like the Royal Bolton.

Dr Jones added: “Out of everyone involved in the investigation, my main criticism is of Dr Foster Intelligence. They have their own agenda and I have no respect for them whatsoever.

“Dr Foster is repeatedly becoming discredited and I think its reputation among clinicians has gradually been deteriorating for a long time.

“I love this hospital and I never once thought about leaving. I’ve worked at other hospitals, including ones in America, and I genuinely believe we are on the up.”

BOSSES from Dr Foster Intelligence have defended their decision to launch the investigation — and have disputed Dr Jones claims he was accused of “fiddling” data.

Roger Taylor, director of research, said: “Both the Dr Foster audit and the subsequent alternative independent review concluded that data had been wrongly coded at the Royal Bolton Hospital. Inaccurate coding is a serious issue and it is important it is highlighted, investigated and rectified regardless of the cause, to ensure statistics rating the safety and performance of our NHS hospitals are reliable.

“It is reassuring for local patients to hear that, since we flagged the issue, the Royal Bolton is now working to improve it’s data coding.

“Since 2001, the annual Dr Foster Hospital Guide has shone a light on areas where our NHS hospitals could improve to save lives.

“As the pioneer of analysing and publishing mortality statistics in the NHS for the benefit of patients, we aim to work closely with hospitals to help them spot and improve problems using solid, statistical evidence.

“It is not our role to engage in media speculation on the causes of errors, and we have never suggested the hospital was ‘fiddling’ its data.”

Comments (4)

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8:03am Thu 27 Mar 14

Back oth Bank Boy says...

i believe when tories want to close a hospital or part of the hospital they sendinvestigaters, they create storm in the tea cup. they rubbish the hospital in their report. the nasty government publish the report in the right wing news papers.
people read their version of the report and panic. in this panic thousend of people run to private health insurance companies and take outhealth insurance, tory minister's families and freinds make profit, who have shares in those companies. private hospitals and doctors in that area start raking money from local health authority by forced partnership. tax payers loose, politicians win and become richer.
THIS IS HAPPENING ALL AROUND OUR GREAT NATION.WE ARE SLEEPING WHILE DEMOLITION OF OUR GREAT INSTITUTION, N.H.S.
IS GOING ON. WAKE UP BRITAIN.
i believe when tories want to close a hospital or part of the hospital they sendinvestigaters, they create storm in the tea cup. they rubbish the hospital in their report. the nasty government publish the report in the right wing news papers. people read their version of the report and panic. in this panic thousend of people run to private health insurance companies and take outhealth insurance, tory minister's families and freinds make profit, who have shares in those companies. private hospitals and doctors in that area start raking money from local health authority by forced partnership. tax payers loose, politicians win and become richer. THIS IS HAPPENING ALL AROUND OUR GREAT NATION.WE ARE SLEEPING WHILE DEMOLITION OF OUR GREAT INSTITUTION, N.H.S. IS GOING ON. WAKE UP BRITAIN. Back oth Bank Boy
  • Score: 8

10:20am Thu 27 Mar 14

hoboh2o says...

Back oth Bank Boy wrote:
i believe when tories want to close a hospital or part of the hospital they sendinvestigaters, they create storm in the tea cup. they rubbish the hospital in their report. the nasty government publish the report in the right wing news papers.
people read their version of the report and panic. in this panic thousend of people run to private health insurance companies and take outhealth insurance, tory minister's families and freinds make profit, who have shares in those companies. private hospitals and doctors in that area start raking money from local health authority by forced partnership. tax payers loose, politicians win and become richer.
THIS IS HAPPENING ALL AROUND OUR GREAT NATION.WE ARE SLEEPING WHILE DEMOLITION OF OUR GREAT INSTITUTION, N.H.S.
IS GOING ON. WAKE UP BRITAIN.
It's a little more complicated than that or did the Mid-Staffs crisis under a Labour government not happen?
The NHS is and has the potential to be the greatest thing this country ever invented.
We should concentrate on how to make it better still and stop playing the political games, I'm pretty sure most tory's would not like to see it disappear nor most Labour voters wish it a blank cheque.
[quote][p][bold]Back oth Bank Boy[/bold] wrote: i believe when tories want to close a hospital or part of the hospital they sendinvestigaters, they create storm in the tea cup. they rubbish the hospital in their report. the nasty government publish the report in the right wing news papers. people read their version of the report and panic. in this panic thousend of people run to private health insurance companies and take outhealth insurance, tory minister's families and freinds make profit, who have shares in those companies. private hospitals and doctors in that area start raking money from local health authority by forced partnership. tax payers loose, politicians win and become richer. THIS IS HAPPENING ALL AROUND OUR GREAT NATION.WE ARE SLEEPING WHILE DEMOLITION OF OUR GREAT INSTITUTION, N.H.S. IS GOING ON. WAKE UP BRITAIN.[/p][/quote]It's a little more complicated than that or did the Mid-Staffs crisis under a Labour government not happen? The NHS is and has the potential to be the greatest thing this country ever invented. We should concentrate on how to make it better still and stop playing the political games, I'm pretty sure most tory's would not like to see it disappear nor most Labour voters wish it a blank cheque. hoboh2o
  • Score: 5

11:58am Thu 27 Mar 14

boltonchap says...

Back oth Bank Boy wrote:
i believe when tories want to close a hospital or part of the hospital they sendinvestigaters, they create storm in the tea cup. they rubbish the hospital in their report. the nasty government publish the report in the right wing news papers.
people read their version of the report and panic. in this panic thousend of people run to private health insurance companies and take outhealth insurance, tory minister's families and freinds make profit, who have shares in those companies. private hospitals and doctors in that area start raking money from local health authority by forced partnership. tax payers loose, politicians win and become richer.
THIS IS HAPPENING ALL AROUND OUR GREAT NATION.WE ARE SLEEPING WHILE DEMOLITION OF OUR GREAT INSTITUTION, N.H.S.
IS GOING ON. WAKE UP BRITAIN.
Back of bank boy. What a typical illiterate rant from a labour supporter: full of spelling mistakes, terrible grammar, envy and no evidence at all to support your claims. You should change your name to " back of the queue when the brains were handed out ".
[quote][p][bold]Back oth Bank Boy[/bold] wrote: i believe when tories want to close a hospital or part of the hospital they sendinvestigaters, they create storm in the tea cup. they rubbish the hospital in their report. the nasty government publish the report in the right wing news papers. people read their version of the report and panic. in this panic thousend of people run to private health insurance companies and take outhealth insurance, tory minister's families and freinds make profit, who have shares in those companies. private hospitals and doctors in that area start raking money from local health authority by forced partnership. tax payers loose, politicians win and become richer. THIS IS HAPPENING ALL AROUND OUR GREAT NATION.WE ARE SLEEPING WHILE DEMOLITION OF OUR GREAT INSTITUTION, N.H.S. IS GOING ON. WAKE UP BRITAIN.[/p][/quote]Back of bank boy. What a typical illiterate rant from a labour supporter: full of spelling mistakes, terrible grammar, envy and no evidence at all to support your claims. You should change your name to " back of the queue when the brains were handed out ". boltonchap
  • Score: 4

12:36pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Bolton Lad 85 says...

Bupa's share price is down 4% this year not many Torries getting rich off that!!
Bupa's share price is down 4% this year not many Torries getting rich off that!! Bolton Lad 85
  • Score: 5

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