Patient death rates at five 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.
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 Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals Trust for two years running.
Experts said that the indicator 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 mortality between 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 lower mortality 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.”
He added: “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.”