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Friday 25th May 2018

Unnecessary deaths due to NHS

18th January 2008

Figures show that poor NHS performance is responsible for more than 17,000 unnecessary deaths a year in the UK.

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Campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance compared World Health Organisation data for the UK with France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain and found the NHS had 17,157 extra deaths in 2004 compared with the average in the other countries.

The organisation focussed on the number of deaths from certain conditions and at certain ages that healthcare can reasonably be expected to avert. In the UK, that level was 135 per 100,000 people compared with the best rate in France of 91. The average across all five countries was 107.

Report author Matthew Sinclair said: “Thousands are dying every year thanks to Britain's health service not delivering the standards people expect and receive in other European countries.�

Many European countries had improved their mortality rates over the last two decades, the report said.

In a bid to improve the UK position the TaxPayers’ Alliance suggests that NHS bodies be given more independence from central government.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said success on a European level has not been achieved despite millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money being spent on the NHS.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw added: “Mortality rates have been falling steadily and the UK has been narrowing the gap with the best continental EU performers.�

The Department of Health said investment over the last 10 years had provided more than 100,000 extra doctors and nurses and led to cuts in waiting times.


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