20,000 patients died needlessly in NHS hospital 'because ministers ignored repeated warnings about high mortality rates'

  • Health adviser warned former Health Secretary Andy Burnham
  • Jarman says no action was taken over the high death rates
  • He repeated his call for NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson to resign

By Jo Macfarlane

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Andy Burnham was sent a list of hospitals that recorded suspiciously high death rates but did nothing about the information, said Sir Brian Jarman

Labour Health Secretary: Andy Burnham was sent a list of hospitals that recorded suspiciously high death rates but did nothing about the information, said Sir Brian Jarman

More than 20,000 deaths in NHS hospitals could have been prevented if Ministers had not ignored repeated warnings about high mortality rates, a leading health adviser has claimed.

Professor Sir Brian Jarman, director of the Dr Foster research unit which monitors death rates, has revealed that in 2010 he sent the then Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, a list of hospitals which had recorded suspiciously high numbers of deaths. However, he says, no action was taken.

Many of those hospitals are among the 14 now subject to an urgent Government review in the wake of the Stafford Hospital scandal.

 

Sir Brian said his figures – separate from Government data – revealed that as many as 20,000 patients may have died unnecessarily at the 14 trusts involved in the review. 

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday, Sir Brian said Mr Burnham told him he had passed the information to the hospitals regulator, the Care Quality Commission – but that the regulator ‘did not find that there was anything to worry them’.

He added: ‘It’s a pity they didn’t because, as we have seen at Mid Staffs and other hospitals, when they have actually gone in and looked, they have been able to reduce the death rates.’ Sir Brian suggested the review should be widened.

Sir Brian Jarman repeated his call for NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson (pictured) to step down

Critical report: Sir Brian Jarman repeated his call for NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson (pictured) to step down

Sir Brian Jarman said that he passed his study to the hospitals regulator, which ¿did not find that there was anything to worry them¿

Warning: Sir Brian Jarman said that he passed his study to the hospitals regulator, which ¿did not find that there was anything to worry them¿

He said: ‘It’s only looking at 14 of the 140 trusts – there are likely to be others where they have numbers that exceed the national value. I think there must be at least tens of thousands of avoidable deaths.’ 

The review follows the publication of a highly critical report into appalling care standards at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

Up to 1,200 patients are thought to have died needlessly between 2005 and 2008 as nurses and doctors were put under pressure to put targets ahead of basic patient care.

Sir Brian also repeated his call for NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson to stand down over  the revelations.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, he said: ‘I think he should go. He represents everything that’s wrong with the NHS at the moment.’

Mr Burnham, who was Health Secretary between June 2009 and May 2010, insisted he took action when Sir Brian contacted him.

Now Shadow Health Secretary, Mr Burnham said: ‘I passed the data to the independent regulator and

I also invited Brian Jarman on to a working party to look at this very issue.’



The comments below have not been moderated.

High mortality rates!too many died! How does that make the bereaved feel. Higher number of deaths rate to many things, age of population around the hospitals, increased numbers in population due to building houses-hospital doesn't increase in size, epidemics, bad weather, people bring their illness home from abroad cans spread it. This needs to be managed and investigated properly Its not just about numbers Gate

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WHILST ON THE SUBJECT OF NHS AND MONEY HOW MUCH ARE CARBON CREDITS COSTING NHS AND WHO IS BENEFITING FROM THE WIND FARMS ON LAND AND AT SEA

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What more could anyone with half a brain expect from the labour party?

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Politicians spend too much time over Europe and their future prospects and vested interests to be really focused on what is going on anywhere meantime the people run the country

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Burnham was given this information by Professor Sir Brian Jarman weeks before the 2010 General Election and passed it straight on to be investigated. As we know the Conservative led Coalition then took over....It is therefore cheap and nasty to air this propaganda.....No wonder Labour and the Lib Dems want the Press answerable !

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Hospital mortality figures were recorded form 2003. Ministers (Labour) were only too well aware from the reports passed to them by the"Dr Foster" unit at Imperial College London.

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Burnham , who is usually vociferous, has been remarkably quiet in the last few months when all this disgusting news was brought out in the open.

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angrydoc - yes andy burnham is great as Mr Nice guy - fact is though he also had responsibility as Health Secretary. They're happy to take the salaries and benefits and pay lip service in jobs they're unqualified to do apart from score political points and blather out spin. If he's responsible, he's accountable.

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"We had British Coal ,British leyland , British Steel and the NHS anybody see a parallel here ! - Ian , Rochester, United Kingdom, 17/3/2013 22:06" ****************** Do you mean because they were all highly unionised and badly run with the taxpayer constantly picking up the tab when things kept going wrong?

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What we need to know, what action they are taken? what is the sanctions? As I just visited hospital for these few days, I asked the nurse to change the incontinence pad, but what she said.. I can't change it as we are facing budget cuts. hence I back again to hospital bring some incontinence pad, and change it by myself. they let the patient wet, even I provided convene they even not touch it.

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