QUALITY: An internal investigation has rejected claims that some patients at a North West trust are being ‘over-treated’.

The investigation came after NHS England raised concerns about the “culture” within the orthopaedics department at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust.

Southport and Formby district general hospital

NHS England raised concerns about the ‘culture’ within the orthopaedics department

The national body told HSJ it had been contacted by a whistleblower. It is now reviewing the findings of the trust’s probe, before deciding if any further action is necessary.

A report published in the trust’s October board papers said the internal review was carried out by Marcus Cope, the trust’s clinical director of orthopaedics.

The report said the department had a “strong audit culture” and its regular morbidity and mortality meetings suggested it was “willing to learn from mistakes and embrace change”.

The department had an “excellent record of submitting data to the national joint registry [which] demonstrates a department which is not afraid to be compared against its peers”, it added.

On the alleged over-treatment of patients, the report said the department’s “conversion rate” from outpatient attendance to admission for surgery was “significantly lower than the national average”.

The trust was also not found to be an outlier in other benchmarking data, it added.

A trust spokesman said the board was assured by the findings of the report.