HSJ’s round-up of Friday’s must read stories and debate

Delays to death… Data

Most of us would like to escape death, or at least delay it as much as possible (though you might not think it if you’re trying to get them to stop drinking, eating, smoking, etc).

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt hasn’t yet discovered the secret to eternal life (indeed life expectancy for some groups has fallen in recent years, unusually). But he has managed - unintentionally, of course - to delay us finding out more data about death.

Mr Hunt has been repeatedly advised by the experts that there is no viable way of calculacting how many deaths at every hospital trust are “avoidable” - but he pressed on, insisting this information would somehow be published by each acute provider by spring this year.

Perhaps surprisingly for this post-truth era, the experts were actually right, and it didn’t happen. HSJ’s care quality correspondent on Friday revealed that a clutch of new reviews, reconsiderations and revisions are under way, with the sum affect that the prospect of trust-level avoidable death figures remains somewhere between the extremely long grass, and on the bottom of the ocean.