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08.03.13

Infection coding fails national standards at Bolton hospital

NHS Royal Bolton hospital has had an “unusually high number of deaths” attributed to the infection septicaemia.

The Bolton CCG commissioned an independent analysis of the trust’s coding of septicaemia, carried out by Dr Foster.

Of 150 cases, not all of which were fatal, more than half failed to meet national standards. Septicaemia deaths do not affect hospital mortality figures. 76 of the cases did not meet national coding standards, and of these, 69 were as a consequence of retrospective clinical validation process.

Between March 2011 and April 2012, 800 cases of septicaemia were recorded. A similar sized trust would expect to have only 200.

Responding to the report, Dr Wirin Bhatiani, chair of Bolton CCG, said: “The report confirms that clinical coding of sepsis is of concern. This report looked at the quality of the coding process; we now need medical input to understand how and why this happened, and to understand if the coding was clinically appropriate.

“We have no evidence clinical care of patients has been compromised. We have jointly agreed with Bolton NHS foundation trust the scope of an independent, clinically-led review and the terms of reference with its chair, David Wakefield.”

The Royal Bolton hospital said it was “important to note that the report raises no concerns about standards of treatment and care”.

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Comments

Jason   13/03/2013 at 09:37

I note that this article suggests that "septicaemia deaths do not affect hospital mortality figures" but septicaemia is one of the basket of 56 in HSMR so this seems to be a disingenuous statement.

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