‘High’ death rates at Calderdale hospital

Calderdale Royal Hospital
Calderdale Royal Hospital

The trust which runs hospitals in Halifax and Huddersfield has been listed among NHS organisations with “higher than expected” death rates.

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust had 293 more deaths than were forecast in the 12 months to September last year, according to latest figures.

Calderdale Royal Hospital Accident and Emergency.

Calderdale Royal Hospital Accident and Emergency.

The organisation is among 18 NHS trust listed in the higher than expected category for the 12 months to September 30 last year.

David Birkenhead, medical director of the two hospitals, said: “We routinely review the care given to those who die in hospital to make sure we did all we could to avoid the patient’s death.

“We have not identified any significant areas of concern however we will continue to review this information in detail to ensure that there are no further lessons to be learnt, and that the care we offer to our patients is safe and of high quality.”

The latest figures were released after NHS bosses listed high mortality among reasons for a shake-up of services which include closing Huddersfield A&E and centralising emergency care in Halifax.

A consultation document, drawn up to convince people the plan would lead to safer care, said: “The trust’s hospital mortality rates are higher than the England average.

“This means that more people are dying in our hospitals than would be expected.”

Dr Birkenhead added: “The trust is always trying to improve the care we provide for our patients.

“We know that providing services on two sites means that we routinely have to transfer patients between the two hospitals and that we do not meet some of the nationally set clinical standards, which does present some risks to the care we are able to provide.”

The Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) compares the number of hospital patients who died with expected average death rates.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), which publishes the figures, said high SHMI did not necessarily indicate poor care, and could be affected by the way deaths are recorded.

But a high SHMI is a “smoke alarm” which requires further investigation, said a report released with the latest figures.

Both Halifax and Huddersfield will have “urgent care centres” if the hospital shake-up plan goes ahead.

For more information log on to www.rightcaretimeplace.co.uk, call 01484 464212 or text to 07771 334724.