Hospital Dr News

Poor performers on mortality ratings named

Fourteen hospital trusts have been identified as the poorest performers in the first official hospital-wide mortality ratings.

The NHS Information Centre has published the summary hospital-level mortality indicator (SHMI), which compares the actual number of patients who die following treatment at a trust with the number who would be expected to die, for all non-specialist acute trusts.

The government wants to trusts with the lowest mortality rates to provide valuable learning on how quality of care can be improved.

The data has been published with two different methods of categorising trusts as having ‘as expected’, ‘higher than expected’ and ‘lower than expected’ mortality rates.

One method reduces the potential for falsely identifying borderline trusts as ‘higher than expected’, and therefore identifies fewer trusts as higher or lower than expected. The other method is more sensitive, identifying more trusts as higher or lower than expected.

The data shows the majority of trusts have a mortality rate that falls within an expected range – 119 using the less sensitive control limits and 79 using the more sensitive control limits. But, for trusts with higher than expected mortality, 14 are identified using the less sensitive control limits and 36 using the more sensitive control limits.

The 14 trusts, ordered from highest ratio of deaths to expected deaths to the lowest, are:

1. George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust

2. Isle of Wight NHS PCT

3. East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

4. Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

5. Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

6. Medway NHS Foundation Trust

7. York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

8. Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

9. Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

10. Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

11. Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

12. East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

13. University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

14. Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust

Fourteen trusts have lower than expected mortality using the less sensitive control limits and 32 trusts for the more sensitive control limits.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “We are determined to improve patient safety and shine a light on poor performance by giving patients, public and the NHS more robust information about their hospital trust.

“This new measure will help ensure patient safety by acting like a smoke alarm to prompt further investigation. Alongside other data, this will help the NHS in future to spot and act on poor care as soon as possible. We are determined to learn the lessons of the appalling events at Mid Staffordshire – this data will help us avoid a repeat of that tragedy.”

The SHMI shows mortality rates for every acute non-specialist trust in England for the period from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011.

However, at least one of the trusts is questioning the validity of the data and is making representations to the NHS Information Centre. East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust chief executive Nick Carver, said: “The SHMI rating published for the very first time today is a new, experimental way of calculating hospital mortality data…According to the NHS Information Centre, the Trust’s SHMI score has been calculated as 1.18, which suggests higher than average mortality in our hospitals.

“However, our HSMR rating for the same period is 99.2, which puts us in the better performing half of NHS trusts in the country and suggests slightly lower than average mortality.”

The figures will be published each quarter.

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