Letter to Stafford Newsletter 29 March 2013
If Stafford Hospital Staff have caused 400 – 1200 avoidable and unnecessary deaths, then we face possibly the biggest manslaughter/murder enquiry in English Medical History.
Recent analysis by SKWalker maintains that no such numbers of deaths occured. Th figures quoted are wrong and hence the data has been mis-interpreted. During the relevant period, proper coding was not in place – the Coding Manager being absent on long-term sick leave. Price Waterhouse Cooper say the proper coding would have placed the figures 25- 30% lower. Later an authentic coding regime gave Stafford a score of 88. The average number of deaths in English hospitals is given a score of 100 against which every hospital is compared. The score of 88 put Stafford well below the national average, particularly when the wrongly coded deaths gave scores of 114 – 127. On this basis, and given the Price Waterhouse Cooper discount, the alleged 400 – 1200 deaths could not have occurred.
Should this analysis be correct then an “avoidable, unnecessary” even a malicious stain has been cast on the reputation of all who work in the Mid-Staffs Trust. This damaged reputation is now being used to force the dismantling of Hospital Provision in the Stafford and Cannock communities.
I ask that we lift this stigma of shame from our hospital. All who care for and seek cure for the NHS should now unite in the vigorous fight to retain essential health provision and as SKWalker puts it
Save Stafford Hospital from Unnecessary Death.