Data reveals the postcode lottery of ‘dying from a preventable cause’ in Kent

Where you live in Kent (not including Medway) influences your risk of dying by an avoidable cause, statistics reveal.

Data released by the Office of National Statistics shows the risk of death that may have been avoided through ‘good-quality healthcare’ or from a condition that could have been prevented via ‘public health interventions’ varies across the 12 districts which make up Kent.

Of Kent’s  12 local authorities, Thanet  had the highest rate of male preventable mortality in 2017, with 293.3 in every 100,000 deaths being avoidable.

This is compared to just 158.2 avoidable deaths per 100,000 male fatalities in the Sevenoaks district, which had the lowest mortality rate.

And among women, Thanet had the most avoidable deaths in 2017, with 165.8 in every 100,000 fatalities being preventable.

Sevenoaks had the least at 101 per 100,000 female deaths.

The ONS measured avoidable fatality rates across England and Wales via death registration data.

It defined preventable fatalities as those ‘where it is reasonable to expect deaths could be avoided through good-quality healthcare, even after the condition has developed.

‘And those where it is possible to prevent the condition from occurring in the first place through wider public health interventions, such as those targeted at reducing the incidence of smoking.’

In 2017 Thanet, Swale and Folkestone & Hythe continued to be ranked as the the most deprived areas in Kent. Deprivation plays a large part in life chances and health issues.

Neoplasms (cancers and other non-cancerous tissue growths) continue to be the leading cause of avoidable mortality in Kent in 2017, according to the Office of National Statistics data.

Patients starting cancer treatment within 62 days of urgent GP referral according to figures released in Dec 2018 show that our Trust, East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust has not met the target of 85% since Sept 2014.  In Dec 2018 the Trusts average was 82.1% and ranked 74th out of 131 trusts.

According to data released in Dec 2018 Patients having planned operations & care within 18 weeks of referral ranked our Trust, East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust as the worse trust in the Country meaning it was 131st out 131 trusts. What with the target set at 92%, England as a whole hit 86.6%, but our trust hit just 72.4%. The Trust last hit its target in Oct 2015.

So the statistics demonstrate the healthiest place to live in Kent is the Sevenoaks district and the worse is Thanet. They also demonstrate for East Kent, that the Trust is failing to provide sufficient healthcare, whether that be by GP Cancer referrals, A & E times or planned operations & care within 18 weeks of referral.

East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust is failing, our CCG’s are failing and yet our local Councils wish to hoist more development, via the building of more homes onto our districts. Why would people wish to come and live in areas where the risks of dying from preventable causes are higher than in Sevenoaks. Where being referred  by a GP to the Trust for Cancer creates further risk for patients as the Trust fails to meet its targets.

There are no easy solutions to these elevated risks. All we do know is the infrastructure that is here needs to be fixed first before we go building thousands more new homes; whose occupants will stretch our already under-resourced trusts in Kent still further.

The Shepwayvox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime

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4 Comments on Data reveals the postcode lottery of ‘dying from a preventable cause’ in Kent

  1. I suspect the deprivation data would be very similar. Public Health inequalities are well mapped and the 1986 Black Report banned by Mrs T, showed that 33 years ago, things were pretty much the same. So much for politicians or managers in the NHS ‘improving’ things.

  2. A Former Staff Nurse at the Harvey // February 24, 2019 at 19:31 // Reply

    It’s reprehensible and believe you me the NHS and especially the EKHUFT is NOT a nice place to work. There is a lot of bullying, racism and sexual harassment which the Trust does bugger all about even when it is reported. Perhaps that is why there are 41,000 nursing vacancies in England alone. It would go some way to explaining things.

  3. Waiting for Treatment // February 24, 2019 at 22:18 // Reply

    As a patient referred for cancer treatment by my GP, I have been waiting for close to five months. My GP is not the problem, EKHUFT are as they have cancelled on three occasions. I have written to the Chief Executive Susan Acott, but have NEVER received a reply. Take from that what you will.

  4. The “inverse care law” is a reality – the areas which need the best care get the worst resources

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