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Probe into deaths at NHS hospitals

By Oliver Wright

At least 14 NHS hospitals are to be investigated for their persistently high patient death rates, it was announced last night.

The number of hospital trusts facing scrutiny in the wake of the Mid Staffordshire scandal was nearly tripled yesterday as the NHS confirmed it was examining potential problems at an additional nine hospital trusts.

This is on top of the five trusts marked down for inspection by the NHS medical director, Bruce Keogh, last week after the publication of the Francis report into Mid Staffs. The total number under investigation represents nearly one in 10 of the 162 acute trusts in the country.

Among the nine hospital trusts to be investigated, five have been judged to be financially failing by the Department of Health and the Foundation Trust regulator Monitor.

Others have already had significant problems with their care identified by the standards watchdog, the Care Quality Commission.

They include United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, where standards of staffing, care and treating people with respect have been judged to be unsatisfactory.

(© Independent News Service)

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