HOSPITALS in Colchester are to be investigated over their mortality rates, the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) has announced.

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The announcement follows the publication of the inquiry into mistreatment and neglect of patients at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Medical director Sir Bruce Keogh is to launch an immediate investigation into five hospital trusts including Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.

It follows news that the trust, which runs both Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital, had higher than expected mortality ratio over two years.

The other trusts which will be investigated are Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The NHS CB said that the five trusts have been “outliers” on the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) for two successive years to 2012.

The news follows the publication of the Francis Report into events at the trust between 2005 and 2009, which called for a “zero tolerance” approach to poor standards in the health system.

An NHS CB spokesman said this was a day for the NHS to reflect on the “harrowing experiences” of what happened at Mid-Staffordshire.

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