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Fears Over Weekend Deaths at Royal Cornwall Hospital

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7:02pm 3rd December 2012

There are fears over the number of people who die at Cornwall's biggest hospital over the weekend.

A report into the NHS claims mortality rates for emergency admissions on Saturday and Sunday are higher than expected.

During the week, the report by Dr Foster found numbers fell within the normal range.

Joe McKenna, Chair of Health Initiative Cornwall, said: "Normally, Dr Foster's reports are fairly accurate, however we also understand that several trusts throughout the country are questioning the validity of the figures. But very worrying, I mean you don't go into a hospital to die, mortality rate, very worring."

Dr Paul Upton, Medical Director at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, said: Our overall mortality rates are better than would be expected an NHS Trust of our size, the average age of patients and the complexity of their care.

"There has been a change to the way Dr Foster measure weekend mortality data and we are reviewing our figures to establish why we are not performing as well as we had been against this indicator.

"We carry out a review of any death within our hospitals. Since the issue of higher mortality rates for those admitted at the weekend was highlighted nationally we have refined this process. This allows us to look specifically at patients admitted at the weekend. To date we have been unable to identify any cause for concern.  We are investigating this further to ensure our patients continue to receive safe, high standards of care no matter when they are admitted to hospital."

7:02pm 3rd December 2012

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