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Minister explains rise in unexpected hospital deaths

The health minister says people should not read anything untoward into a massive jump in the number of sudden or unexpected deaths at Noble’s Hospital.

David Anderson moved to allay fears after facing questions about the statistics in the House of Keys.

In a question for written answer, South Douglas MHK Kate Beecroft quizzed him about the number of such deaths reported by health staff under a system known as PRISM.

Mr Anderson confirmed that last year there had been 25, compared to just seven the year before.

He said the rise in deaths reported through PRISM doesn’t necessarily indicate they’re untoward or involved failings by health staff.

The minister argued they could have been a result of critical illness, an acute emergency, or natural causes.

And commenting on the massive rise last year, Mr Anderson says the criteria for reporting sudden or unexpected deaths has changed, leading to the increase.

He says the changes are in line with practices introduced in the UK.

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