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Death rates soar at crisis hospital

PUBLISHED: 18:05 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:30 12 August 2010

DEATH rates rocketed at a hospital which was threatened with cuts after nurses left to work at Trusts with a safer future. A report published on Tuesday showed that Queen Mary s Hospital in Sidcup (QMS) had a high death rate resulting from a lack of n

DEATH rates rocketed at a hospital which was threatened with cuts after nurses left to work at Trusts with a safer future.

A report published on Tuesday showed that Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup (QMS) had a high death rate resulting from a lack of nurses.

QMS had a ratio of 1.34 nurses per bed compared with 1.52 at Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust, 1.57 at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust and 1.80 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust.

All the rest of the Trusts in the area came out with an average death rate in the report by health information organisation Dr Foster Intelligence.

The data which was collated last year comes after the proposals by committee A Picture of Health included slashing QMS of its A&E, maternity unit and in-patient paediatric service.

Bosses at the hospital have previously admitted that this left them with a staff shortage as nurses moved to the Bromley and Woolwich Trusts that had apparently safer future.

Now that the three London trusts merged yesterday, to form the South London Healthcare NHS Trust bosses believe they will be able to retain staff.

A hosptial spokesperson said: "I can assure patients that we have a very high standard of care and that there is no cause for concern. While statistics can be very helpful in planning services and ensuring that there are no unusual anomalies that need investigating, they are very complex and can sometimes be confusing. Further examination of the data and the patients concerned showed that there were specific circumstances which explained why our statistics were out of line with the average.

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