The CQC will implement recommendations following the scandal at Southern Health by investigating how all acute, community and mental health trusts learn from the deaths of patients.
The regulator will also seek to find out how trusts involve families and how they learn from the results, with a particular focus on the deaths of patients with learning disabilities and mental health problems. They will then conduct phone interviews with 30 trusts and visit 12.
The announcement follows a recommendation from health secretary Jeremy Huntas part of the government’s response to the scandal at Southern Health trust, which the CQC found recently is still failing to address safety concerns despite the Mazars report criticising the trust for investigating just 13% of 1,454 deaths of patients with learning disabilities and mental health problems.
Professor Sir Mike Richards, CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: “Very many people are under the care of secondary healthcare services at the time of their death.
“For most, the care provided has prolonged their life, eased their suffering and helped them to die with dignity. However, this is not the case for everybody. Every year thousands of people under the care of NHS trusts die prematurely because their treatment or care has not been as good as it could have been. Healthcare workers might have failed to identify an illness that could have been treated, not provided the advice that might have prevented an illness developing, not made a life-saving intervention with a person who is critically ill or made some other error that contributed to a premature death.
“It is essential that, when this happens, NHS services identify and investigate the circumstances of these deaths so that staff can learn from them and reduce the likelihood of a similar event happening in the future. It is also essential, that NHS providers are open and honest with the families and carers of people who die whilst under their care.”
Recent Blog by C&C Empathy Training Ltd: Red and yellow will never make green in NHS complaints investigations