Page last updated at 21:12 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Support call over hospital probe

MP David Kidney
David Kidney said staff must have been shaken by the developments

An MP has called for people to "get behind" the new management of a Staffordshire NHS trust ahead of the publication of an important report.

A Healthcare Commission inquiry looked into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust over previous higher than normal death rates at Stafford Hospital.

Stafford MP David Kidney said this month's report "could be quite critical about some aspects of the hospital".

The trust's chief executive and chairman resigned on Tuesday.

Mr Kidney said: "Hundreds of thousands of patients pass through the doors of the hospital every year.

"Most I am sure get good care, some get exceptional life-saving care from the hospital.

"But alongside that, it does seem that there has been some unacceptably poor care standards and these are what we need to address if that's what the inquiry report says when it comes out this month."

'Special measures'

The Labour MP added people's "goodwill" was now needed to support management and "build up the confidence of staff who must have been shaken by what's happened".

Mr Kidney was speaking after the independent regulator Monitor said the commission may recommend it "takes special measures" at the hospital, but added this was yet to be confirmed.

The trust said chairman Toni Brisby and chief executive Martin Yeates had stepped down "to enable the trust to build on the considerable improvements that have been made over the past 18 months".

Monitor appointed David Stone, the chairman of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, as the new trust chairman.

Figures showed the trust's standardised mortality rate (SMR) was 127 in 2005/06. Nationally, it is set at 100.

The trust said its SMR was down to 101 between May and October 2007, with an SMR for emergency admissions over that time period of 100.4.

It said the apparently high mortality rate was due to problems in the way it was "recording and coding information about patients".

It said its improvement measures had included recruiting more doctors and nurses and reducing infection rates to below the national average.

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