Basildon Hospital death rate review: Campaigners meet inspectors

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Media captionInspectors have arrived at Basildon University Hospital

Campaigners fighting for improvements at an Essex hospital are meeting inspectors carrying out a review into higher-than-expected death rates.

Basildon University Hospital is being inspected as part of the Keogh Review into potential failings at 14 hospital trusts.

About 200 families have so far taken legal action against the hospital.

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Trust has been accused of covering up its rates, which it denies.

The hospital had 3,186 deaths between between April 2010 and April 2012.

Between October 2010 and October 2012, there were 544 more deaths than expected.

Image caption Mr Harris was moved wards nine times in 12 days

The review, which is being conducted by NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, was unveiled in February and follows the inquiry into hundreds of deaths at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

Sir Bruce is expected to report on his findings in the summer.

Lead inspector Dr David Levy said: "Part of the difference is that we are interviewing a lot of the staff, the senior executive team here and we will be listening and undertaking focus groups with staff, with the public and the patients as well to understand their view of the service."

Breathing difficulties

Dan Chapple founded campaign group Cure the NHS Basildon in March after the death from a brain haemorrhage of his mother, whom he says was not diagnosed in time.

"There are good doctors in that hospital," he said.

"I am not trying to villainise everyone at the hospital, I am trying to bring out the people who are bad and hopefully put an end to it."

D-Day veteran Fred Harris died at Basildon Hospital in March at the age of 90.

He had been admitted with life-threatening breathing difficulties, but was moved wards nine times in 12 days and contracted MRSA.

His granddaughter Sharon Walsh said: "I would like to know why somebody would move a patient, regardless if they are a baby or a 90-year-old."

Basildon Hospital chief executive Clare Panniker said: "A great deal of work has already taken place and more is under way to achieve consistently high standards of care, including the introduction of a trust-wide quality and safety turnaround programme."

The inspection of the hospital will be led by David Levy, regional NHS director.

Members of the public are invited to a "listening event" at the hospital that starts at 18:00 BST.

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