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Essex MP's talk about their support for Colchester Hospital

Essex MPs have come to the defence of staff at a hospital that was named and shamed over its high death rate.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, together with Basildon and Thurrock NHS Trust, were among five singled out by inspectors following a damning report into years of abuse and neglect at Stafford Hospital.

But tonight there are claims that Colchester Hospital was wrongly targetted - and the MPs say that is unfair on the doctors and nurses who work there. Serena Sandhu reports.

Local MP's support Colchester Hospital

Essex MPs have given their support to Colchester Hospital managers after news the Trust was being investigated over high death rates.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust was one of five trusts to be targeted by inspectors following a damning report into years of abuse and neglect at Stafford Hospital. But MPs say the Government was wrong to single out Colchester. Serena Sandhu has more.

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Mortality rates at two local hospital trusts to be investigated

Colchester Hospital Credit: ITV Anglia

Five hospital trusts, including two in the Anglia region, are to be investigated over their mortality rates. The NHS Commissioning Board announced the move today, following the publication of the inquiry into mistreatment and neglect of patients at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Medical director Sir Bruce Keogh is to launch an immediate investigation into the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust and the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust together with trusts in Tameside, Blackpool and East Lancashire.

The NHS board said that the five trusts have been "outliers" on the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator for two successive years to 2012.

The news follows the publication of the Francis Report into events at the Stafford trust between 2005 and 2009, which called for a "zero tolerance" approach to poor standards in the health system.