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Half of people dying within four days of hospital admission lack input from senior doctors, inquiry finds

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4539 (Published 05 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4539
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    The care of half the people who die within four days of admission to hospitals in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland lacks involvement of senior doctors, leading to delays in provision of appropriate care, a new survey says.

    The report, from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD), reviewed the care of 3153 people who died within four days of admission to hospital.

    Expert reviewers who assessed the patients’ records, together with further information provided by hospital staff, found that consultants were not involved in making a diagnosis in just over half (53%) of the cases. And there was a clinically important delay in first review by a consultant in 25% of cases. Consultant involvement was less …

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