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Stafford lawyer urges new probe after high mortality rate at North Middlesex Hospital

Lawyer who represented over 200 alleged victims of abuse at Stafford hospital urges fresh probe into nearly 300 'unexpected' deaths at hospital

11 July 2016

The lawyer representing clients taking legal action over alleged instances of abuse at the North Middlesex Hospital has welcomed reports that a new probe may be launched into the deaths of nearly 300 patients.

According to the Sunday People newspaper over a two-year period between 2014-2015, 287 deaths at the hospital were recorded as “unexpected”.

The official Department of Health figures show the hospital’s death rate is higher than the national average.

Care Quality Commission inspectors also found more failings in the North London hospital’s A&E department following two visits in a month. They found evidence that patients were probably being deprived of food and fluids on wards dedicated to the elderly.

Emma Jones from the human rights team at Leigh Day, who is representing a number of clients who claimed they were harmed whilst patients at the hospital, said that the figures were of significant concern.

Ms Jones who represented over 200 patients who claimed they suffered abuse at Stafford Hospital, said: “We hope that we are not again faced with similar issues within the NHS as our clients experienced at Stafford Hospital. We are particularly concerned with the CQC making direct reference to treatment and care on the elderly wards and in A&E which are similar to those identified at Stafford Hospital.

“These reports suggest an urgent review into the hospital’s mortality rates is necessary so that any concerns are dealt with straight away. “We hope that the CQC reports and the identification of a high mortality rate have been identified at an early stage so that steps can be taken to address the issues with immediate effect."

Speaking to the Sunday people, Professor Brian Jarman, who helped expose the high death rates at Stafford Hospital, said: “What is going on at North Middlesex is very worrying.

“They need to quickly find out what is going wrong to prevent more deaths. It is two years since the last inspection and the hospital doesn’t seem to be improving.”

A spokesman for the North Middlesex said: “We are working with the CQC to make sure we improve.”

The Department of Health said: “Recent incidences of poor care at North Middlesex are unacceptable. The situation must change and quickly.”

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