Thursday, 18 July 2013


I've been having a lot of fun with this site recently, but there is serious stuff going on at my other Blog - you should check it out, now and then at;

As a sample I'm posting this from today, so you can see what you're missing.




There’s no messing about on this site – back in May I applauded the BBC in researching and publishing the list of ‘Never Events’, that’s where hospitals mess up in ways which the NHS has indicated should never happen – they are unnecessary and preventable. I put the figures into an easy to read form and republished them. I also highlighted the ‘bottom 21’ as a real cause for concern and I picked out Barts as a trust that should be investigated. Here’s what I wrote back then;




“My own ‘Lantern Rouge’ (that’s the Tour de France prize for finishing last) is because I’ve picked out the two separate entries for ‘Bart’s’;

Barts & The London NHS Trust 8

              Retained foreign object post-operation 4

              Wrong site surgery 2

              Misplaced naso-or oro-gastric tubes 2

Barts Health NHS Trust 11

               Retained foreign object post-operation 4

               Wrong site surgery 3

               Misplaced naso-or oro-gastric tubes 2

               Wrong implant/prosthesis 1

               Air Embolism 1

and I did so because Barts Health was formed on 1 April 2012 by the merger of Barts and the London NHS Trust, Newham University Hospital NHS Trust and Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust.

For starters that means that St Bartholomew’s may have had its figures split in two and actually had 19 ‘never happen’ incidents over that four year period which is seriously worrying. Even more worrying is that the newly combined Trust – the four hospitals together- seems to have had 11 incidents in just under a year (2012/13).

If you want to get really frightened, add up the number of incidents over the four hospitals for those four years – it’s a total of 27. Or is there duplication in these figures? Have they tried to separate the new from the old, producing double counting? I hope so – mind you where the NHS is concerned the problem is usually undercounting problems.

Either way, it’s not what I would call a centre of excellence.

So if Barts it isn’t being investigated right now, it’s time it was.”


That was two months ago. This is from today’s report from the ‘London Standard’;

“An inquiry was ordered today at Britain’s biggest health trust in response to the deaths of 28 patients due to medical blunders last year.

 Barts health trust — which runs six London hospitals — was declared at “high risk” of failing patients, with major concerns about delays in cancer care and hundreds of emergency cases readmitted for further treatment.

The inquiry was ordered by England’s new Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, in his first day in the job. It comes after Barts last night said it was calling in financial trouble-shooters to address a £93 million debt.

Sir Mike was alerted by whistle-blowers, patient complaints and key measures indicating the performance at Barts was markedly worse than the national average. This included 10 “never events” — things that should never happen in surgery — involving seven cases where swabs were left inside patients, two cases where the wrong teeth were removed and one where the wrong eye implant was inserted.


Barts also admitted 348 serious incidents in 2012/13, including 129 at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, and 105 at Whipps Cross in Leytonstone. Of these, 28 resulted in death.



The investigation — one of four announced into London trusts — is a setback to Barts’s hopes of becoming a self-governing foundation trust by 2016. Fifteen months ago Barts took control of Newham and Whipps Cross hospital trusts to become the biggest NHS trust in Britain, and the busiest A&E service in London with more than 6,000 attendances a week. Sir Mike said: “There is too much variation in the quality of care patients receive — poor hospitals will need to up their game and learn from the best. I will not tolerate poor or mediocre care.” Barts is preparing to axe up to 1,000 vacant posts and move overlapping services to single sites in a bid to save cash.

It has been hamstrung by private finance initiative costs of about £115 million a year for the new Royal London site; a fall in patient numbers; and an £8.5 million redundancy and redeployment bill for 112 staff axed following last year’s merger. It has also had fines for leaving orthopaedic patients to wait more than a year for treatment.

The other London trusts being investigated are Barking, Havering and Redbridge; Croydon; and South London Healthcare.”

Remember, you read it here first.


Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)


No comments:

Post a Comment