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Providers failing to report on nurse-led quality priority

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Dozens of hospitals, most of them run by the independent sector, have been criticised by the NHS medical director after failing to report information against a nurse-led quality priority.

Sir Bruce Keogh told Nursing Times the NHS was “let down” by those not providing data on the proportion of admitted patients assessed for risk of blood clotting, known as venous thromboembolism. Nurses at all trusts have been asked since last year to risk assess all admitted patients, and arrange preventative drugs if needed.

The Department of Health has required all providers of NHS care to report on VTE screening since July last year, in response to evidence that there were thousands of preventable deaths annually.

However, DH figures show that in April this year many hospitals were not providing information, or were providing incomplete and unusable figures. They included 137 sites run by the independent sector.

Sir Bruce said: “The VTE work has been a highly successful initiative and we have gone from a standing start to a good position, but we are let down by trusts that fail to make returns.

“Some people see the collections as a burden, but when it is focused on the appropriate clinical areas it is an opportunity for organisations to demonstrate the quality they offer. When people fail to reveal data, others can legitimately ask whether that is a reflection of their [lack of] focus on clinical quality.”

The number of providers reporting at least 90 per cent of patients assessed has increased from 18 in July 2010 to 115 in April.

As well as the reporting requirement, from April last year the DH has linked part of providers’ pay to performance against the VTE indicator. There was a coordinated campaign by the Royal College of Nursing to promote assessment.

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