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Six trusts with 'high death rates' revealed


Six NHS trusts have “persistently” high death rates for patients who die in hospital or within 30 days of discharge, according to new data.

The trusts – including Colchester which is being investigated by police over accusations cancer waiting times were falsified – have had higher than expected death rates over two years.

A further 12 trusts are also considered “outliers” because they have death rates that are below expected levels and this has persisted for two years, the report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed.

The six trusts with persistently high death rates are:

  • Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust
  • Aintree University Hospital Foundation Trust
  • Wye Valley Trust
  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • East Lancashire Hospitals Trust

Several of these trusts, including Blackpool, Aintree and Colchester, have featured in other lists – compiled by the Care Quality Commission and analysts Dr Foster – warning of high death rates.

Blackpool has also been investigated by NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh.

The report is based on the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI), which is 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.

It takes into account the different types and ages of patients treated.

The 12 trusts with lower than expected death rates are:

  • Barts Health Trust
  • Royal Free London Foundation Trust
  • North Middlesex University Hospital Trust
  • Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust,
  • St George’s Healthcare Trust
  • The Whittington Hospital Trust,
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust
  • University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust,
  • North West London Hospitals Trust
  • Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust
  • Imperial College Healthcare Trust.

The study covers the period from July 2011 to June 2013.

In December, Dr Foster named 16 NHS trusts in England as having higher than expected death rates in one year, with 13 scoring poorly on at least two indicators relating to patient death.


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Readers' comments (2)

  • Blackpool does not surprise me in the least. Not because it's such a desperately poor and deprived population, but because the care is abysmal. Truly shocking. Everyone is juggling hot coals and lots get dropped. Management are only interested in the numbers, full stop. Its a permanent battleground and staff are exhausted and bullied.
    So many services are commissioned out and therefore fragmented its a mess that will take some sorting out.

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  • I wonder if anyone is taking the conflict of interests of the decision makers and providers seriously?

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