(London Telegraph) At least 20,000 hospital deaths could have been prevented if warnings about high mortality rates had been acted on quickly, a government adviser has said.

Professor Sir Brian Jarman has accused ministers and officials of ignoring data on high death rates for a decade.

Sir Brian is working on the government review of 14 hospital trusts with higher-than-average death rates in the wake of the Stafford Hospital inquiry.

Speaking of the 14 hospital trusts, Sir Brian said there “must be at least tens of thousands of avoidable deaths in those hospitals alone, when we should have been going in and we should have been looking at them”.

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