3,000 more deaths than expected at 14 trusts under investigation

hospitalMany of the fourteen separate hospital trusts facing a lengthy investigation into high mortality rates following the Mid-Staffordshire scandal will be demanded to provide explanations after an inquiry found that over 3,000 patients may have needlessly died in just a 12-month period.

After the publication of a shocking report into the serious deficiencies and ‘appalling’ failings at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, NHS England medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh began an inquiry into numerous other trusts due to suspiciously high death rates. Before the latest figures emerged this week, around 450 excess deaths were found to have occurred between 2005 and 2008 at Mid-Staffordshire.

Eight of the trusts investigated after the Mid-Staffordshire report emerged were discovered to have ‘higher than expected’ death rates. The Summary Hospital Level Indicator (SHMI) for the 12-months after October 2011 shows five of the trusts under scrutiny are ‘repeat outliers’, with death rates higher than would be expected for two consecutive years.

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and the Blackpool trust were all deemed as having higher than expected death rates from October 2010 to October 2012. In total, these five trusts had amassed a total of nearly 1,500 more deaths than expected between just 2011 and 2012 – according to the figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The most shocking of statistics emanate from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals. From October 2011 to October 2012, approximately 1,947 deaths were expected. However, by the end of this period there was actually a death toll of 2,357 – 410 more than first anticipated.

However, some officials have warned that the compiled data is just ‘experimental’ and the figures should only serve as a ‘smoke alarm’.

Sir Bruce said: “A higher than expected mortality rate does not in itself tell us that a hospital is unsafe, for example, units delivering highly complex and specialist care could legitimately have higher mortality rates. It is, however, a warning light that suggests trusts should investigate further to identify and resolve any care quality issues. We want consistently high performing hospitals across the NHS. Hospitals with persistently high Summary Hospital Mortality Indicator scores are currently under review.”

So how do the fourteen hospitals under investigation compare to each other? They are as follows:

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Latest SMHI rating: higher than expected – a repeat outlier
Observed deaths: 1,954
Expected deaths: 1,714.6409
Difference: 239.3591

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Latest SMHI rating: higher than expected – a repeat outlier
Observed deaths: 2,357
Expected deaths: 1,946.7956
Difference: 410.2044

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Latest SMHI rating: higher than expected
Observed deaths: 1,788
Expected deaths: 1,553.0346
Difference: 234.9654

Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Latest SMHI rating: as expected
Observed deaths: 1,247
Expected deaths: 1,262.3652
Difference: 15.3652 fewer deaths than expected

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust
Latest SMHI rating: higher than expected – a repeat outlier
Observed deaths: 2,174
Expected deaths: 1,854.6328
Difference: 319.3672

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
Latest SMHI rating: higher than expected
Observed deaths: 2,630
Expected deaths: 2,310.2554
Difference: 319.7446

George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
Latest SMHI rating: as expected
Observed deaths: 978
Expected deaths: 891.3849
Difference: 86.6151

Medway NHS Foundation Trust
Latest SMHI rating: higher than expected
Observed deaths: 1,707
Expected deaths: 1,505.3115
Difference: 201.6885

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
Latest SMHI rating: as expected
Observed deaths: 1,668
Expected deaths: 1,510.8156
Difference: 157.1844

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Latest SMHI rating: higher than expected – a repeat outlier
Observed deaths: 2,236
Expected deaths: 1,938.045
Difference: 297.955

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Latest SMHI rating: as expected
Observed deaths: 1,821
Expected deaths: 1,688.1848
Difference: 132.8152

Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Latest SMHI rating: higher than expected – a repeat outlier
Observed deaths: 1,375
Expected deaths: 1,165.294
Difference: 209.706

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
Latest SMHI rating: as expected
Observed deaths: 2,092
Expected deaths: 2,008.4612
Difference: 83.5388

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Latest SMHI rating: as expected
Observed deaths: 3,560
Expected deaths: 3,240.782
Difference: 319.218

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