More people than 'expected' died in Northern Lincolnshire hospitals or soon after treatment
Over 300 people more than ‘expected’ died during, or shortly after, treatment in hospitals managed by the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, new figures show.
The latest figures revealed today by the NHS Information Centre, found the Trust to be amongst the worst in the country for mortality rates.
The figures for the period April 2011 to March 2012 found there to have been 2266 deaths, 332 more than the ‘expected’ figure of 1976.
In April 2010 to March 2011 the difference between the number of ‘expected’ deaths and actual deaths was 292. The number of actual deaths during this period was 2268.
The latest report found the Summary Hospital Level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) at the Trust to be 117, above the mid-point of 100, leaving the Trust languishing as an ‘overlying’ Trust. The figures follow on from the Transforming Health report published last month, and the previous SHMI score of 116.
This score relates to the number of deaths at the hospital being higher than the number expected by the SHMI model. The SHMI includes deaths occurring in the community within a 30-day period after discharge from hospital, as well in hospital.
Health chiefs at the Trust have admitted they still have a long way to go to improve mortality rates at the region’s hospitals but they had confidence in the 42 point action plan set up in the wake of the previous report.
They have said it will be some time before the measures that have been put in place can take effect and impact on these figures.
Dr Liz Scott, medical director at the Trust, said: “The latest SHMI figures show our Trust had a higher than average mortality ratios for the period April 2011 to March 2012.
“We know we need to improve how we record the condition of our patients, something which will have a positive impact on our mortality rates. However, I remain confident that clinical safety in our hospital’s remain high.
“As we explained following the publication of our commissioners’ Transforming Health report last month, this is an issue for the whole health community and we are working hard within the Trust and with GPs to make sure that all possible factors are addressed.
“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.”
The Trust says it can be confident that the measures being taken is succeeding through the use of Risk Adjusted Mortality Index (RAMI) figures.
These RAMI figures are able to be broken down to each hospital within the Trust.
RAMI figures for September 2011 to August 2012 show there to have been 45,113 discharges from Scunthorpe General Hospital and 732 deaths, giving a crude mortality rate of 1.62 per cent.
This was down on the figure for the same period the previous year that stood at 1.82 per cent. Deaths had also fallen by 43 from 775. There were 42,595 discharges.
The RAMI indicator had also fallen from 139 to 103.
Karen Jackson, chief executive at the Trust, said: “ The interesting thing is the number of increasing discharges and despite an increase of more than 2,500 the number of deaths has fallen.
“With that pressure on the system that is a real testament to the quality of care being given.
“Mortality is the Trust’s number one quality priority and patient safety is of the utmost importance to every member of staff.
“We implemented an intensive mortality rate improvement programme earlier this year and many of the tasks in our action plan have already been completed.
“The impact of this activity will not necessarily be reflected in the SHMI figures for some time due to the indicator’s retrospective nature. However, we continue to monitor our progress rigorously and I, along with the Trust board, am fully confident the SHMI figures improve.
“What these statistics do not demonstrate is the dedication from staff at all levels to the provision of safe, high quality care to patients in all of our hospitals.”
Dr Scott added: “We will still work to do better but what the RAMI is showing is the work the director of nursing, the nurses and all the staff are doing, it is going in the right direction.”
Statistical analysis carried out by the hospital has predicted that the RAMI figures will start to fall in line with other Trust’s by June 2013. The impact of any work carried out by the Trust is unlikely to reflect in the SHMI score until late 2013.
Mrs Jackson, said: “With RAMI I can see the effects of the actions that we took last month whereas SHMI is measuring a period of six to 18 months ago.”