Chairman’s open mind into report’s findings
9:10am Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
THE chairman of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has said he is keeping an “open mind” as a second investigation into coding practices is launched.
David Wakefield, who was appointed by health watchdog Monitor to run the Trust in August, has said the Trust is working with Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to find out what has happened with “coding”.
It comes after an initial investigation by health information expert Dr Foster revealed out of 150 cases of septicaemia at the Trust, 76 had not been coded according to national standards.
Of the 76 not coded correctly, 69 had been altered after they were coded.
Dr Foster’s findings showed the standard of coding before “clinical validation” took place was “robust” but that it had been changed after this had taken place.
Infections are classified by coders and these are then checked by clinicians.
Mr Wakefield said the Trust was supportive of the independent team, led by Kathy Doran, who currently works for Cheshire, Wirral and Warrington PCT cluster, and Dr Peter Williams, a medical director at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust, who will investigate clinical coding.
He also revealed a sepsis expert is being brought in to the hospital to ensure the Trust is diagnosing the condition properly.
Ron Daniels, who is the chief executive of the Sepsis Trust, will work with the independent team.
Mr Wakefield said: “What the report has done is confirm the preliminary findings.
“They have identified differences between what the coders have done and those that have gone through the validation processes.
“What they want to do now is have the investigation to validate whether that is correct or not and we want to do that as quickly as possible.
“If we need to revise the validation process that is what we will do. At this stage I am going to keep an open mind to what the result will be.”
In addition to the independent investigation, which will look at the way the past cases have been coded, the trust has two separate reviews.
A team of experts from Deloitte will look at governance and an independent team will review current clinical coding practices to ensure that they comply with national standards.
Mr Wakefield said the three reports will ensure the trust’s board of directors are properly informed about the processes at the trust.
He said the trust’s acting chief executive Dr Jackie Bene, who “stepped aside” at the start of the investigation, would remain away from the Trust while the investigation took place.
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