Health bosses 'welcome' investigation into death rates
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is going to be investigated over their mortality rates.
The Trust has already investigated more than 1100 deaths at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven but the review will look into why there were 18 excess deaths for every 100 expected between 2011 and 2012.
Death rates at 14 hospitals are going to be reviewed following a damning report into deaths at Stafford Hospital.
The review will be headed by Sir Bruce Keogh, the man in charge of the NHS.
The Trust is in the middle of being taken over by Northumbria NHS Trust after a series of high profile problems concerning finances and patient care. Dr Jeremy Rushmer is Director of Clinical Transformation and is involved in the acquisition process. He says he isn't surprised by the investigation.
Patients are being asked to 'Think twice' before visiting the accident and emergency department of their local hospital. The North Cumbria University Hospital trust are asking people to remember that A&E and 999 services are for emergency situations.
They say that A&E is the best option for life-threatening and serious emergencies, such as serious accidents and burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes. For other conditions other NHS services are usually a better option.
Patients are encouraged to use services such as NHS Direct, high street pharmacies, GP practices and walk-in centres at local community hospitals for non emergency treatments.
Mike Walker, Medical Director at North Cumbria University Hospitals, said:
"I would like to encourage local people to make sure that they choose the right service and help our teams to cope over the winter months. Our A&E teams have to deal with many people who have life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks and strokes, plus those who have been involved in serious accidents. We need to make sure we can concentrate on helping these emergency cases.
"Before you come to A&E, take a moment to think carefully about whether you could be treated elsewhere. Your local high-street chemist can give expert, fast and confidential advice and treatment for many common complaints and can refer you on to other services if needed."
– Mike Walker, Medical Director at North Cumbria University Hospitals