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CCGs data skill ‘deficiency’ stifles improvements


16 July 2013

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Commissioners are “struggling to understand” the vast amount of data presented to them by hospitals, thereby missing failings of care, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s review into high hospital mortality rates has concluded. 
Following the release of the review today (16 July 2013), Sir Bruce has put all 14 investigated trusts onto a strict improvement plan, with 11 placed on “special measures”. 

Commissioners are “struggling to understand” the vast amount of data presented to them by hospitals, thereby missing failings of care, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s review into high hospital mortality rates has concluded. 
Following the release of the review today (16 July 2013), Sir Bruce has put all 14 investigated trusts onto a strict improvement plan, with 11 placed on “special measures”. 
The Keogh Mortality Review found that none of the 14 hospitals with high mortality rates which were investigated provided consistent levels of high quality care. 
In many cases, boards were unaware of the problems uncovered by review teams, such as patients being moved repeatedly between wards without being told why, or staff working for 12 days in a row without a break. 
A failure to act on data that showed cause for concern, while honing in on positive data was also noted. 
Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said: “Mediocrity is simply not good enough and, based on the findings from this review I have set out an achievable ambition which will help these hospitals to improve dramatically over the next two years.” 
Seven ambitions were outlined for the hospitals, which include making demonstrable progress towards reducing avoidable deaths and the boards, local commissioners and providers aiming to be “confidently and competently” using data for quality improvement. 
Sir Bruce told The Commissioning Review: “GPs and clinical commissioning groups have the duty of quality improvement, which is imposed by the legislation. They have a duty to help drive hospitals to improve their services.” 
However, Professor Sir Keogh said it was “too detailed” to go into what exactly commissioners should do to drive quality. 
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Under the new rigorous regime led by the Chief Inspector of hospitals, if a hospital is not performing as it should, the public will be told. If a hospital is failing, it will be put into special measures with a limited time period to sort out its problems.
“We owe it to the three million people who use the NHS each week to tackle and confront mediocrity and inadequate leadership head on.” 
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