Extra deaths...but mortality rates OK

MORTALITY rates for the trust that runs Calderdale Royal Hospital fall within expected limits, despite 58 extra deaths in one year.

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust recorded that 2,308 people died after treatment in its hospitals or within 30 days of discharge between April 1, 2010 and March 31 2011

The figure was compared with the expected number of deaths - 2249 - to produce the trust’s Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator.

The new measurement has been introduced by the NHS as an early warning system to flag up failings.

Trusts are rated from one to three based on their indicator score, with one meaning there were more deaths than expected and three meaning mortality rates were lower than expected. Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust’s scored two, which means the number of deaths was within the expected limits.

A trust spokeswoman said: “This new methodology of calculating mortality rates shows our rates to be statistically as expected. 

“There are many indicators of quality and we carefully monitor mortality rates at the trust.

“This shows that deaths in our hospitals are falling year on year.”

The trust’s West Yorkshire neighbours were also rated at two, but there were 270 fewer deaths than expected in Leeds hospitals and 107 fewer in Bradford.

Nationally, 14 trusts recorded significantly higher than expected mortality rates and received ratings of one.

They included three covering Yorkshire - the York, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole and Hull and East Yorkshire NHS trusts.

The figures were published by the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care.

The indicator system was drawn up in the wake of the Mid-Staffordshire hospitals scandal in 2009.

Between 400 and 1,200 people died over a three-year period amid routine neglect and appalling standards of care, an independent inquiry found last year.

The Francis Review into the scandal recommended a national review of hospital mortality ratios so variations and trends to do with hospital deaths could be better understood.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said the new mortality indicators would shine a light on poor performance.

“We are doing all we can to improve care for patients and help turn around struggling hospitals,” he said.

“This new measure will help ensure patient safety by acting like a smoke alarm to prompt further investigation.

“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.”