7:55am Saturday 9th March 2013
THE chairman of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has reassured the board of governors following the release of a report that showed data about hospital patients illnesses had been changed.
David Wakefield spoke to governors on Thursday, and said a report by watchdog Dr Foster raised no concerns about standards of treatment and care.
Earlier that day, he sent a letter to all staff at the trust to reassure them and emphasise that there had been “no criticism of our excellent and professional coders”.
The report was commissioned by Bolton’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) after they noticed the trust had an unusually high number of septicaemia cases. Between March, 2011, and April, 2012, the trust recorded 800 cases — when a similarsized trust would expect to have 200.
Dr Foster, a health information comparison service, looked at the coding in 150 cases and found that 76 did not “meet national standards”.
Of the 76 cases, 69 were found to have been changed retrospectively by clinicians.
The report did not say why it had happened, and a second investigation has now been launched.
Mr Wakefield explained to governors that the independent team would be coming into the hospital, but stressed that the coding team had been shown to be doing their job properly.
He told the governors that the problem appeared to be when the codes were validated by clinicians and had been changed.
“I can’t tell you when the work will be finished because I don’t know how much will be involved yet.
“As soon as I know, the board will know and then you will know,” he said.
If cases have been coded incorrectly as septicaemia, it could affect the hospital’s mortality rate figures and may have a financial impact.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group