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Wednesday 20th June 2018

Death rate link to data recording

19th March 2008

A health trust in the Midlands has blamed its inadequate system for recording and coding data on patients for triggering an urgent investigation into its mortality rates.


The Healthcare Commission investigated Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust after announcing its mortality rates were higher than the national average.

The Commission also expressed concern about the effectiveness of the trust’s system for monitoring this data.

Its head of investigations Nigel Ellis said: “An apparently high rate of mortality does not necessarily mean there are problems with safety. It may be there are other factors here such as the way that information about patients is recorded by the trust. Either way it does require us to ask questions, which is why we are carrying out this investigation.?

Trust chief executive Martin Yeates said his organisation worked with the strategic health authority on the “apparently high mortality rate? and concluded it was due to problems with recording the data.

He added: “We have, over the last year, employed more clinical coding experts to work within the various specialty departments to help staff to record information and improve the quality of data.?

He said that had led to a “significant improvement? in the trust’s standardised mortality ratio.

The Healthcare Commission says the investigation will now focus on examining the ability of the trust’s information systems to provide an accurate picture of mortality rates.

It added that it was critical, for patients, to ascertain why the figures at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust were out of normal range.


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