Consultants appointed for health panel report

Last updated: 17/12/2012 10:05:29

Consultants have been appointed to carry out an independent report on death rates at the Manor Hospital - on behalf of Walsall Council's health scrutiny panel.

Experts from Mott Macdonald will be analysing the mortality rates and the work being done by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust to address the issue, as well as considering the impact of health inequalities in the borough and the provision of community-based support services.

Figures released earlier this month through the Dr Foster Hospital Guide 2012 revealed that Walsall Manor Hospital had one of the country's highest death rate figures.

The health scrutiny panel has repeatedly sought assurances from the Trust about mortality rates over the last 12 months, and although there has been improvement in recent months, members agreed to commission an independent report into the issue.

Councillor Marco Longhi, Panel chairman, said: "We have appointed Mott Macdonald as independent consultants on this piece of work which will not only look at the mortality rates but the bigger picture of the health economy in Walsall.

"Members have been concerned about the figures which have, over a sustained period, been significantly higher than those in comparable hospitals.

"The panel has a responsibility to Walsall residents to examine the issue in depth, taking account of all relevant factors, and seek reassurances that the improvements the Trust is making are in their best interests.

"This panel fully supports the Trust's efforts to turn the corner but will continue to scrutinise all aspects of this particular issue - as well as other areas of concern.

"The resulting report from Mott Macdonald will be a public document and we will be receiving regular updates at scrutiny between now and next April when the report is due to be completed."

Councillor Longhi added that the panel would be seeking the views of the Clinical Commissioning Group which manages the contract for the Manor Hospital and is responsible for its performance.