High Death Rates Prompt Fresh Scrutiny On Six NHS trusts

30 January 2014

High Death Rates Prompt Fresh Scrutiny On Six NHS trusts

New NHS data has revealed that six NHS hospital trusts have “higher than expected” mortality rates, prompting fresh investigations and scrutiny into the figures.

Of the six NHS trusts scrutinised, two of them are already in special measures following a review last year into trusts with allegedly high death rates. The two trusts are Colchester Hospital University NHS foundation trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS trust with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS foundation trust also one of the 14 placed under scrutiny by the review last year overseen by Sir Bruce Keogh.

As well as the trusts mentioned above the NHS's Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS foundation trust, Aintree University Hospital NHS foundation trust in Liverpool and Wye Valley NHS trust in Herefordshire demonstrated mortality rates in 2012-13 which were deemed as unusually high according to a key measuring indicator called the summary hospital-level mortality indicator or SHMI.

Mistreatment.com has received enquiries from members of the public who have visited these trusts and who want to know how to complain about treatment or launch a medical negligence claim. If you or a loved one have experienced poor treatment or care at one of the six trusts mentioned, our experts are available to speak about your experienced and what your options are.

Healthcare information specialists Doctor Foster Intelligence uses four different mortality indicators to produce its annual hospital guide, which is often seen as an invaluable account of information relating to patient care outcomes and hospital indicators. The SHMI is a key way of measuring if a hospital trust is seeing an average, higher or lower than average number of deaths among patients, specifically comparing and contrasting the number of patients who die while being treated as an inpatient or within 30 days of their discharge from hospital. The SHMI findings concluded that the six hospitals trusts mentioned above all showed evidence of mortality rates which were higher than the expected ratios.

Whilst the HSCIC said that the new data should not be taken as "a standalone verdict on a hospital trust's performance" it did opine that the calculated figures represented  "The ratio between the actual number of patients who die following treatment at the trust and the number that would be expected to die on the basis of average England figures, given the characteristics of the patients treated there".

"A Warning Light"

Dr Mike Durkin, director for patient safety at NHS England, said of the new SHMI data: "A higher than expected mortality rate shown by this indicator does not in itself tell us that a hospital is unsafe. It is, however, a warning light and a signal to the trusts that they should immediately investigate further to identify the reasons for the high mortality rate and resolve any associated quality issues that may have contributed

"Bruce Keogh's review into hospitals with persistently high summary hospital-level mortality indicator scores was concluded last year and the outcomes and review recommendations were published and are available on the NHS Choices website. The Care Quality Commission's chief inspector of hospitals and the Quality Surveillance Groups continue to ensure that there is robust oversight of clinical quality in all hospitals on an ongoing basis."

Mistreatment.com was created to listen to talk to people who feel that they had nobody at the NHS to listen to them when something went wrong. Members of the public who call through to us often want to raise an issue within NHS care so that somebody else is not affected the way their and their loved ones have been. Sometimes they call through to us to make a medical negligence claim because a financial settlement is needed to rebuild their life and to take care of their family. If you have experienced a form of medical mistreatment through emergency services, A&E or through surgery, for example, you can speak to the experts at Mistreatment.com