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Hospital death rate ‘higher than expected’

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Recently released figures have revealed a ‘higher than expected’ death rate at a Teeside hospital trust. The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is one of the nine hospital trusts identified as having a higher than predicted mortality rate in the last year. The trust’s medical director, Dr David Emerton, said that it was “reviewing the care of all patients who die” following the recent figures.

Where the figures take into account both deaths in hospital and deaths within 30 days of discharge, Dr Emerton said that the number of patients treated without being admitted to hospital most likely affected the figures. Patients such as those in care homes, and nearing the end of their lives, were being sent to hospitals when “not much really [could] be done”.

Figures viewed as a ‘smoke alarm’

The centre that compiled the data – The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) – said that the figures did not mean that the hospitals were ‘failing’ or ‘unsafe’. A spokeswoman said that the figures should be “viewed as a ‘smoke alarm’”, encouraging the trust to investigate.

The nine trusts with a higher than expected mortality rate include: Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Medway NHS Foundation Trust, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

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