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Mortality rates are a blunt tool, says health minister

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a890 (Published 18 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a890
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1Margate

    The health minister Ara Darzi has admitted that mortality rates are a “blunt tool” to measure the quality of medical care in the NHS in England.

    Lord Darzi was giving evidence to MPs on the parliamentary health select committee on Thursday 17 July as part of its inquiry into the government’s next stage review, published last month.

    He said that alternative measures were needed to rate the safety, effectiveness, and patients’ experience of health care because death rates were “irrelevant” for many procedures in modern medicine.

    Although the government recently published survival data for surgery patients for the first time and suggested that …

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