Beds, Herts & Bucks

Buckinghamshire hospitals inspected over high death rates

A hospital trust being investigated for high death rates is to be visited by inspectors.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare is one of 14 trusts in England being scrutinised as part of a national inquiry in the wake of the Stafford Hospital scandal.

The trust manages Stoke Mandeville, Wycombe and Amersham hospitals.

The Keogh Mortality Review team will visit the hospitals for three days in June and talk to staff, patients and the general public.

The trust was indentified in April as one of 14 in England that have a higher than expected mortality ratio over the past two years, with details of its death rate not yet made public.

'Smoke alarm'

Death rates are calculated by looking at the number of people that would be expected to die when taking into account the age and disease profile of the local population.

While not necessarily proof there is a problem, they are a "smoke alarm" suggesting there could be.

It was higher than expected death rates that first alerted inspectors to the failings at Stafford Hospital, where hundreds are thought to have died after receiving poor care.

Led by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, all 14 trusts are being looked at for clinical effectiveness, patient experience and patient safety.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare said it welcomed working with the team to identify any areas of improvement "over and above those that have already been taken locally".

The rapid review team visit begins on 10 June, with the general public invited to speak to the rapid review team at Aylesbury Vale council offices the same day, and Wycombe Hospital on 11 June.

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