Deaths of more than 1,000 people "not investigated by NHS"

A new report says that the unexpected deaths of more than 1,000 people have not been investigated by the NHS.

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Statement from Chief Exec of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Statement from Katrina Percy, Chief Executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust:

Does Ms Percy feel that, considering the comments of Jeremy Hunt - "The Government is profoundly shocked by the findings of the report which are totally unacceptable" - she should resign as Chief Executive?

Do other senior members of the Trust feel they should 'step down' over the comments by Mr Hunt of "a lack of leadership"?

“It is my job and that of the Board to continue to lead on the comprehensive programme of improvements which we have been making over the last 18 months. We owe it to the people we support to make these improvements and it is this that we are focussed on.”

_Does Ms Percy and the Trust feel they have led down the most vulnerable members of our society?_

“We apologise to anybody who feels let down by any aspect of our service. The safety and welfare of the people we support is of utmost importance and we take seriously any part of service which has not met the high standards we expect. We have accepted that our processes have not always been as good as they need to be and are committed to improving them.

What does she say to the families of the 1,454 people who have died unexpectedly between April 2011 and March 2015?

“I say that we have already made significant improvements to the way we report and investigate unexpected deaths, and are working extremely hard to encourage other organisations to do the same.

The full report - not the leaked one - will be released before Christmas. What else is Ms Percy and the Trust expecting from it?

“It is not appropriate to speculate on the contents of an unfinished document. We will provide a full statement on the final report once it has been published.”

Of 1,454 unexpected deaths, 272 were treated as "critical" incidents, but only 13 per cent were treated by the Trust as serious enough to require an investigation. Why?

“Every death in the NHS is an opportunity to learn and improve, and must be taken seriously. However, the numbers being quoted by the media are incorrect and misleading. Half of the 1454 deaths were not unexpected. Of the remaining number over half were clinically unavoidable deaths, for example due to heart attacks or strokes. Furthermore, 90% of cases occurred outside of our hospitals, where we were not the main care provider. Any number of deaths not properly investigated is not acceptable and we have acknowledged that we need to and we are improving.”

  1. Exactly what measures have been taken to put right the failings within the Trust?

“We have taken comprehensive steps to keep improving the way we report, investigate and learn from unexpected deaths in our care:

The launch of a new Procedure for Reporting and Investigating DeathsThe establishment of a central investigation team which is working to improve the quality of investigationsIncreased executive oversight of the entire reporting process.”

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