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Wednesday 26th October 2016

NHS death certificate shambles

29th June 2006

30062006_FionaBruce1.jpgA BBC documentary has highlighted widespread inaccuracies on death certificates across the NHS.  The Real Story programme, shown on Tuesday 27 June, told the story of Angie Mason whose father died in an NHS hospital following a simple hip replacement operation.

Ms Mason is convinced that her father died from post operative complications but his death certificate states pneumonia as the primary cause of death.  Barnet hospital has refused to change his death certificate despite Ms Mason being told by one of its pathologists that many death certificates were inaccurate.

A government report into death certification in 2003 showed that only 55% of death certificates were correct.  Accurate statistics enable families to correctly assess the risks of their loved-ones undergoing ‘simple’ procedures which are, in fact, unaccountably resulting in deaths.

The BBC documentary showed that the term ‘bronchopneumonia? is an overarching and popular term used by doctors on death certificates which may mask the true cause of death.


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