Q&A: What is the Keogh Review and what did they find?
Feeling confused? Here’s the Keogh Review at a glance
Q: What is the Keogh Review?
A: Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of the NHS in England, has led investigations at 14 trusts with higher than expected mortality rates. An inspection team visited each of the trusts, which have had high mortality rates for the last two years
Q. What trusts were involved?
A. The 14 hospital trusts are: Basildon and Thurrock in Essex; United Lincolnshire; Blackpool; The Dudley Group, West Midlands; George Eliot, Warwickshire; Northern Lincolnshire and Goole; Tameside, Greater Manchester; Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire; Colchester, Essex; Medway, Kent; Burton, Staffordshire; North Cumbria; East Lancashire; and Buckinghamshire Healthcare
Q. Who ordered the review?
A. Prime minister David Cameron commissioned the report in February after Robert Francis QC’s public inquiry report into the Stafford scandal exposed appalling lapses in both care of patients and the regulation of hospitals
Q: What did the review find?
A. The Keogh review found frequent examples of inadequate numbers of nursing staff. All 14 trusts are now carrying out “urgent reviews of safe staffing levels”.
Eleven of the 14 hospital providers investigated because of high mortality ratios have been placed in “special measures”, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced.
After reviewing each of the trusts, the teams found that having less nursing staff was linked to higher in-patient mortality rates.
Q: Did the report think that the trusts should be held responsible for the deaths?
A: Not necessarily. Over the weekend, newspapers reported that the NHS was responsible for 13,000 deaths since 2005, but Sir Bruce Keogh disagreed.
Instead he said in his review that it is “clinically meaningless and academically reckless” to associate statistics with the actual number of deaths.
Q: What were some key suggestions for improvement?
A: The Keogh review suggested that:
- a) Trusts more closely monitor bed management and patient flow, so as to decrease the risks that come with low staff to in-patient ratios.
- b) He also made the point that trusts need to work to better understand patients’ views.
- c) There are also plans to address safety and quality changes in each of the trusts.