Revealed: Lottery of death rates in hospitals - Telegrpah
"Patients are twice as likely to die in hospitals with the highest mortality rates than in those with the lowest, according to a report from Dr Foster Research, the independent health information company.
It found that despite the Government pouring billions of pounds into the NHS, a postcode lottery exists with standards of care varying widely across the country."
"Patients at the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust in north London were identified as the most likely to survive, with a mortality rate 26 per cent below the expected rate.
By contrast, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Nuneaton, Warks, had the highest mortality rate - 43 per cent above the expected rate.
The research did not investigate cause of death at individual hospitals but Dr Foster Research said typical factors would be medical error, infection and failure to deliver "quality of care"."
"Dr Foster Research's mortality rates, the most comprehensive ever compiled, are standardised to take into account a range of risk factors, such as the age of patients, sex, social demographics, the level of deprivation in the area and whether a patient has any other illnesses."
The Department of Health is, predictably, untroubled by these figures: "A Department of Health spokesman said: "We would strongly advise against patients using these figures to make decisions about the relative safety of hospitals. It is impossible to condense into one number the entire performance of a hospital in a way comparable with every other hospital in the country.""
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