Five NHS trusts warned over high death rates

 

Death rates at five NHS trusts have been “higher than expected” two years in a row, figures show.

The mortality ratios at the five English trusts have been "persistently high" between July 2010 and June 2012, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) compares the number of patients who die following hospitalisation at a trust with the number who would be expected to die.

Analysts said that the SHMI was higher than expected at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust for two years running.

Experts said that the indictor should be seen as an "early warning mechanism" so trusts can examine why their score was higher than expected.

The SHMI data, which includes all deaths in hospital as well as deaths occurring 30 days after discharge, also shows that there were 11 trusts which had higher than expected mortalitybetween July 2011 and June 2012.

While the majority of trusts (115) fell into the "as expected" category, 16 trusts had lower than expected mortality rates in the same time frame.

HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said: "Today's report, based on two years of data, shows an emerging picture of which trusts are categorised over time as having higher or lowermortality ratios than expected; and indeed also shows that the vast majority of trusts in England have a mortality ratio that is as expected, based on the characteristics of the patients they will typically treat.

"As always with such a complex area, this mortality indicator should be seen as an early warning mechanism, rather than a definitive judgment, to examine the reasons why a trust's ratio is higher or lower than expected."

Dr Sean MacDonnell, medical director at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, said the trust planned to monitor, analyse and investigate mortality trends.

He said the trust took the mortality indicator "extremely seriously" adding: "The number of deaths at Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital is falling year-on-year.

"In 2011/12, there were 18.28 deaths per 1,000 spells or admissions compared with 20.22 in 2010/11 and 21.42 in 2009/10."

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "I expect trusts to examine this data carefully and take action to investigate if necessary and ensure they are providing safe, high quality care.

"This data alone cannot be used to judge the quality of care. However, the CQC examines mortality data and a range of other information to target their inspections and to ensure trusts take appropriate action where there are problems.

"Where trusts have a higher than expected ratio, the department will work with strategic health authorities to investigate the underlying reasons for this and ensure that firm action is taken."

A spokeswoman for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said that last year the trust took steps to investigate its historically high mortality rates.

Dr Mark O'Donnell, the trust's medical director, said: "We are committed to improving the outcomes for patients and the safety of our services and have already undertaken much work which has now resulted in figures at or near the national average."

Tariq Mahmood, medical director at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said that another mortality indicator - the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) - showed that the trust had a "normal" death rate.

"We would like to reassure our patients, relatives and carers that we continue to work with our local health partners to look at all the factors throughout our community which influence this data," he said.

"We take this very seriously as patient safety is our top priority.

"It is important to stress that our mortality rate, as indicated by the HSMR for exactly the same period, was normal. In fact Tameside has had a normal HSMR mortality rate with this indicator for over three years."

Rineke Schram, medical director at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, added: "The SHMI indicators are very complex and should not be looked at in isolation.

"The population of East Lancashire has some of the poorest health and deprivation indices in the country and it is these indices that are not taken into account when the mortality ratio is calculated.

"The trust agrees that the indicator should be used as a warning signal rather than a judgement and used to examine the reasons why the ratio is high, particularly as other mortality ratios do not give the same result.

"Clinicians at the trust systematically review mortality data from all causes. This includes reviewing every patient's death to see if anything could have been done differently, and looking at trends and patterns in disease categories to see if different treatments or methods of management should be introduced."

A spokeswoman for Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "The trust is working hard to improve its mortality ratio performance.

"While the figures relating to July 2010-June 2012 show the trust's mortality rates as being higher than expected, the figures are still within expected limits for our demographic."

She added that the trust reviews all hospital deaths "to see if there are any deficiencies in care".

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Arts and Entertainment
(L-R) Amanda Peet as Tina Morris, Melanie Lynskey as Michelle Pierson, Abby Ryder Fortson as Sophie Pierson, Mark Duplass as Brett Pierson and Steve Zissis as Alex Pappas in Togetherness
TV First US networks like HBO shook up drama - now it's comedy's turn
Travel
Pool with a view: the mMarina Bay Sands in Singapore
travel From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
News
The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
News
Nigel Farage: 'I don't know anybody in politics as poor as we are'
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Day In a Page

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect