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

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
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

    Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

    £65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

    Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

    £20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

    £8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

    £14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable