Inquiry rejects claims on NHS death rates

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An inquiry by leading doctors has rejected the controversial claims that death rates in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) hospitals are far higher than those in the US.

A report by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has dismissed high-profile claims, made in 2013 by Prof Brian Jarman that 45% more patients die in England because of weaknesses in NHS care, including poorer out-of-hours GP services, long waiting lists and bed shortages.

The inquiry was commissioned by Prof Bruce Keogh, NHS England's medical director, after Jarman said hospital standardised mortality ratio (HMSR) data comparing death rates in both countries had produced that conclusion and left him "quite frankly shocked".

But the academy report found that HMSR is an "unreliable" and flawed way of comparing the quality of hospital care in England and the US, and no conclusions, such as those that Jarman drew, could safely be reached from using it.

Full report in The Guardian Keogh review

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