Latest mortality rate figures at Scunthorpe General Hospital revealed
FEWER people are dying in Scunthorpe General Hospital according to the latest set of figures on the hospital's mortality rates.
Officials at North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust have been monitoring progress since the alarming news that it had some of the worst mortality figures in the country.
Now new figures show that the number of deaths at Scunthorpe General Hospital has dropped from 772 between November 2010 and October 2011 to 705 from November 2011 to October 2012.
Dr Liz Scott, medical director at the trust, said even though the new figures were reassuring, health bosses would not be complacent.
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She said: "The mortality rates remain an issue for the whole health community and, together with our commissioners and GPs, we are making sure that all possible factors are addressed.
"Our staff have worked extremely hard this year to improve the mortality rates.
"We monitor the rates every month using the rate adjusted mortality index (RAMI) and this information is telling us that our mortality rate for deaths within our hospitals is improving.
"We are on track to catch up with our peers by June 2013.
"The trust's mortality task group is investigating every area where there is a possibility of a higher mortality ratio and is also reviewing every death within our hospitals to see if anything could have been done differently."
Dr Scott said the trust has already completed many of the tasks in the mortality action plan, which was made public in the wake of the damning report in September.
According to the recent figures, Scunthorpe General Hospital now has a rating of 101 instead of 137 it had last year – meaning there have been improvements in death rates.
Karen Jackson, chief executive at North Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Improving the trust's mortality rate is our number one priority and I am pleased to see the downward trend in the RAMI to a position that is much more acceptable.
"The trust achieves excellent results in many areas of performance in which we are judged by our regulators and by our patients. I can reassure local residents we are making every effort to continually improve our mortality rate so that it is in line with our other performance indicators.
"This improvement won't be reflected in the summary hospital level mortality indicator (SHMI) for some time due to its retrospective nature.
"We must also remember that SHMI includes deaths in the community for up to 30 days after hospital discharge, unlike the RAMI, and this has a significant impact on the SHMI results."
Jean Brumby, chairwoman of the North Lincolnshire Council health scrutiny panel, said: "The mortality rates are something we are keeping a close eye on and have been for quite some time now."
A report from the health group Dr Foster on the trust is due out next week.