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From : Daily Mail
Saturday, Mar 02 2013 3AM
Hospital hired me to fiddle death figures: Expert claims NHS ordered cover-up
- Sandra Haynes Kirkbright hired due to concerns over high number of deaths
- The Trust was scoring one of the highest mortality rates in the country
- She claims patient care was as bad as at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital
- Bosses offered to double her salary to £54,000 a year to distort death rates
- She refused but said others were breaking ‘every rule in the book’
- Allegations have been denied by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital
By PAUL BENTLEY
PUBLISHED: 22:02 GMT, 1 March 2013 | UPDATED: 01:03 GMT, 2 March 2013
Whistleblower: Bosses tried to silence Sandra Haynes Kirkbright
A whistleblower claimed last night that she was hired by an NHS hospital to fiddle its shocking death rates.
As hundreds of patients died needlessly, Sandra Haynes Kirkbright says she was headhunted by hospital bosses and asked to ‘fix’ the figures.
She claims ‘every rule in the book’ was broken to try to improve mortality rates – without saving lives.
The data recorder says she was suspended after refusing to take part in a cover-up, and even claims she was ordered not to put her concerns in writing in case they reached the Press.
The astonishing allegations – which are denied by the hospital – have emerged days after the chief executive of another NHS Trust, in Bolton, was forced aside over a possible cover-up of high death rates.
Experts have warned similar incidents could be happening in hospitals across the country.
The fresh allegations are yet another blow for NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson, who refuses to resign despite widespread condemnation from MPs, doctors and patients since last month’s damning Mid Staffordshire report.
Mrs Haynes Kirkbright was hired by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust as a ‘health coder’, an administrative role which involves recording data detailing patients’ care in hospitals.
Coders do not need medical qualifications, leading critics to argue that they have disproportionate power to affect how hospitals are seen to be performing.
Mrs Haynes Kirkbright, from Texas, said she was approached following concerns over the shocking number of weekend deaths, which had contributed to the Trust scoring one of the highest mortality rates in the country.
Astonishing allegations: Mrs Haynes Kirkbright said she was hired by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital (pictured) to ‘fix’ mortality rates
Damning: Mrs Haynes Kirkbright added that patient care at Wolverhampton was as bad or worse as at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital (pictured)
She said she ‘wouldn’t even send a dog’ to Royal Wolverhampton Hospital and claims patient care was as bad or worse as at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital, where as many as 1,200 patients died needlessly.
But instead of making efforts to improve care, bosses at the Trust were convinced that the high death rate could be ‘fixed’ by fiddling statistics, she said.
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