The NHS has received a barrage of negative press in recent times, so it is a relief to hear some goods news on the subject of the much maligned health service. The ever excellent Dr Foster research unit at London’s University College, has revealed in its latest annual report that NHS trust mortality rates have improved.
The good news is that 28 NHS trusts recorded lower than expected death rates with four reporting lower mortality rates than the previous year. However, it isn’t all good news as 16 hospital trusts were reported to have experienced a higher number of patient deaths. The later statistics are sure to raise concerns about these particular 16 hospitals – with further attention surely to be paid to the performance levels at these underperforming NHS trust hospitals.
The 16 hospitals that performed poorly between 2012 and 2013 all had higher than expected mortality rates according to the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR). The HSMR records the number of patients who pass away while under hospital care and acts as a form of measurement system. This is according to the report issued by Dr Foster Intelligence, which in turn analyses the NHS and it’s yearly performance.
In total 237,100 patients died while in hospital last year, which is a startling 4,400 rise on the 2011/2012 figures. Taken at face value these statistics may seem alarming, but it is worth remembering that even though there has been a rise, the figures are far more favourable than they were this time a decade ago.
2 Lincolnshire hospital trusts to be placed into special measures
13 of the 28 NHS trusts in the report came out with “higher than usual” morality scores according to 2 healthcare information firms. What comes as more of a surprise is that 4 [2of which are in Lincolnshire] of the 16 failing trusts inspected by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh (NHS England’s medical director) have been placed into “special measures”. This is seen as a mandatory step in order to improve their performance. The 4 hospital trusts in question are:
– Medway NHS Foundation Trust
– North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
– Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
– United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
The 13 hospital trusts that had high death rates reported failures in at least two of the following categories:
– Deaths in low-risk conditions
– Deaths after surgery
– Site-based HSMR
Of the 13 trusts investigated by Dr Foster, 5 were rated for high for deaths after surgery, 10 for site based HSMR and 3 for deaths in low-risk conditions.
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