Alan Johnson as soon as the Health Care commission report was released Commissioned reports from David Colin Thome and Professor George Alberti These were completed promptly.
Alberti laid out the simple steps that were needed to solve the problems of A&E and the acute wards in the hospital. David Colin Thome looked at the weaknesses in the regulatory systems. David Colin Thome also provided the first official confirmation that the excess death figures should not be taken as fact.
Both the SHA and PCT state that they first detected problems in patient care from the 2007 Hospital Standardised Mortality Rate (HSMR) data. HSMR data has featured prominently in the Mid Staffordshire investigation and prompted much ill informed speculation and comment as to suppose excess deaths at the hospital.
HSMR data is not a measure accurate enough to be used as an absolute indicator of quality and safety, but like all indicators, it is one measure, and can indicate a problem. No one data source is sufficient to provide the full picture of an organisation, and triangulation of data is key.
I have written a number of letters to the local press on the matter over the last three years, but this is the only means by which local people may have begun to question the accepted stories.
There was a public meeting for the public to hear from Alberti & Colin Thome about their findings.
There was a question from the floor regarding the supposed excess deaths, and Colin Thome explained that these figures could not be relied on. This was then immediately denied by the pressure group, who clearly believed that they were better informed than Sir David Colin Thome.
Dr David Colin Thomes report is brief – but clearly identifies many of the themes concerning regulation and governance that have been developed by the Public Inquiry.