Lewisham Hospital embarrassed by score for patients’ safety

The Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust has scored 3.43 out of 100(!) ending third from the bottom in the list of Hspital Trusts in Britain for patients’ safety.

Dr Foster’s Hospital Guide for 2009 has revealed that death rates in English NHS hospitals have fallen by seven per cent last year, but that quality of care remains a postcode lottery. The Hospital Guide gives NHS hospital trusts a score out of 100 based on analysis of a range of “safety indicators”, which include surgical errors, deaths, infection rates and staffing levels.

Now, I don’t think Lewisham Hospital is perfect, but third from the bottom in Britain is a hard one to swallow for everyone. Not something to be taken lightly, because they’re the bad ones that get closed. The raw numbers of cases of death do paint a picture of a place where you die a bit more easily from certain conditions than the average, and all other London Hospital scored better, and by some measure.

That said, reading around the report it doesn’t look like there is such a difference between how Lewisham Hospital performed and the national average to justify such bad scoring, in fact there are even a few indicators where Lewisham Hospital performs better than average.

But whatever the reason I think that we better take this seriously and by coupling this report findings with a little local knowledge we’d end up with a better local hospital, for example, there are a few detailed breakdowns clicking around the report of how the hospital responds to each one of the most common health issues and how this compare with the national average, one thing that jumps out is that on many of the indicators of treatment of heart condition the report says that the data for Lewisham Hospital is not available.
Is this evidence of the urban legend that wants that ambulances carrying people with heart attacks do not bring their patients to Lewisham even if they’re picked up on its doorstep because they know that they’re not equipped for that?
If that’s the reason then this is the opportunity to act on that.

Lewisham Hospital’s bosses are understandably shocked by the scoring and have been very cautious with words, but no doubt with such a scoring some sort of response will have to follow.
Lewisham Council plays an important role of scrutiny of the Health delivery for the area through its Healthier Communities Committee of which our local Councillor Andrew Milton is a member. I sat through one of their committees and it’s actually quite humbling for the complexity of the issues examined and I think it’s the only committee of Lewisham Council that has a say on the delivery done by an external body.
This is a report they’ll have to go through with a fine comb.


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One Response to “Lewisham Hospital embarrassed by score for patients’ safety”

  1. Another disturbing report on Lewisham Hospital « . Says:

    […] is the second time in only three few months that Lewisham Hospital is singled out for poor perfomance, after it scored […]

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