United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust should have been investigated earlier for higher than average mortality rates, says Professor Sir Brian Jarman
United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust should have been investigated for higher than average mortality rates earlier, according to a government advisor reviewing 14 hospital trusts following the Francis report.
Professor Sir Brian Jarman, who is reviewing 14 trusts including ULHT, said that at least 20,000 deaths could have been avoided across the trusts if ministers and officials had not ignored data for a decade.
Speaking of the 14 hospital trusts, Sir Brian said 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".
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "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.
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"And we are comparing them, don't forget, with the national average.
"So we are saying that it's got that number above what you would expect if they had the national average death rate."
Former ULHT chief executive Gary Walker broke a gagging order in order to speak out about his concerns about patient safety at the trust.
The Trust denies that it tried to stop Mr Walker from raising his concerns and that the agreement that was signed related to employment issues only.