Five NHS trusts have had “higher than expected” death rates for two years running, according to new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
The Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) is used every year to compare the number of patients who die following hospitalisation, with the number who would be expected to die in that population.
The figure takes into account all deaths in the hospital, as well as deaths that occur 30 days after discharge.
SHMI has been persistently higher than expected at the following five NHS trusts between July 2010 and June 2012: Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
In the latest report, the HSCIC does not consider why these trusts are doing worse than others in the country. However, it does say that they had a higher proportion of patients from deprived areas.
HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said: "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."
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "This data alone cannot be used to judge the quality of care.”
The HSCIC did also find that 16 trusts had a lower SHMI than expected. The hospitals with a lower SHMI included: James Paget University Hospitals, Cambridge University Hospitals, Kingston Hospital, Royal Free, St George's, the Whittington, Chelsea and Westminster, University College, North West London, Imperial College, and Barnet and Chase Farm.
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