Health watchdogs have vowed to assess patient safety after death rates at Monklands Hospital were found to be above the national average in the last quarter.
It’s confirmed that Healthcare Improvement Scotland will mount an inspection of the hospital. Wishaw General and Hairmyres Hospitals will also be subject to the same enquiry.
NHS Scotland clinical director Professor Jason Leitch said: “Although a high hospital standardised mortality rate is not by itself a definitive measure of the quality and safety of care, it serves as an important prompt for further investigation.’’
MSP Jamie Hepburn admitted that the issue ‘‘was of obvious concern.’’
The Scottish Nationalist said: “I welcome the investigation which has been established, which is a sensible course of action in light of these figures being reported.
“I trust that the investigation will be thorough and hope that it will provide clear guidance to both medical practitioners and NHS Lanarkshire on how to improve practices in the future,’’ he added.
Meanwhile NHS Lanarkshire insisted that it is already working on a local action plan to address the issue.
Its spokesman said: “Interpreting mortality rate data is very complex and we know that there are a number of factors that can contribute to the data that have no bearing on the quality of care provided.
“However, it does serve as a useful trigger to undertake a more in-depth review and we very much welcome the support and involvement of Healthcare Improvement Scotland in taking forward this work,’’ he added.