Monday evening, 14 December 2015. No sign of the Mazars report being published yet.
The Justice Shed has endured a hail of Sloven misinformation missiles and spin-stones. The general feeling of besiegement – a curious mixture of boredom and tension – has been added to by a number of incoming hobby-horse half-bricks lobbed by various odd bods with axes to grind about NHS privatisation, Big Pharma and similar irrelevant bonnet-bees.
The “definition of ‘unexpected’ deaths” bee, first set in flight by my medical correspondent, proved to have surprisingly robust legs. Roy Lilley, of nhsManagers.net, picked up on it and suggested that the Department of Health had leaked the report, in order to provide Jeremy Hunt with an excuse for (further) interference with the Health Service. In his scenario, some sort of odd collusion between Katrina Percy and the Secretary of State for Health to produce poor analytics which would not prove that care at Southern Health was poor, had been foiled (or possibly facilitated) by the report being leaked by an impatient Mazars employee with a grudge. I think. It’s a bit hard to follow the line of the argument, especially since several of its basic premises are improbable assumptions, or just plain wrong. Even after he had corrected his misapprehension that Prof. Mohammed Mohammed was the author of the Mazars report, Mr. Lilley was still propagating the Sloven/Mohammed suggestion that it was all about whether Sloven was an ‘outlier’ in terms of its death rates:
‘What is an ‘unexpected’ death? Broadly; a death which would not have occurred if the patient was in a similar Trust, with a similar social demographic – all things being equal.’
Meanwhile, Sloven was discovered to have been trying to minimise and explain away the Mazars figures to universities that place students within the Trust.
Chris Hatton’s magisterial blogpost on the subject expounds the CIPOLD definitions (which have got to be the most relevant for the circumstance) of unexpected, premature, avoidable, amenable and preventable deaths. It also points out that even some ‘expected’ deaths may warrant investigation, and should have kicked the legs out from under the nonsense. Here’s hoping.
George Julian has pointed out that the Mazars publication date was promised for ‘early’ this week, which “surely only leaves Tuesday, as Wednesday must be ‘midweek'”. She is of course 100% right, but I am still not holding my breath.