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NHS death rates improve

29th November 2010

A survey by Dr Foster has shown an improvement in death rates in the 147 trusts in England since 2009. 

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The data revealed that 19 trusts had higher than expected rates, but this was an improvement on the previous year's figure of 27.

The information also showed that four trusts had a "higher" than anticipated number of patient deaths following surgery.

The survey examined the total number of deaths, and deaths following surgical procedures, in addition to other factors in order to construct the survey.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals and University Hospitals Birmingham had "higher" than anticipated total death rates and deaths post surgery.

A spokesman for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals stated that many patients came to the hospital with serious medical conditions and the area they covered had the most smokers in the country, in addition to high numbers of obese people and drinkers.

Roger Taylor, director of research at Dr Foster, said things appeared to have improved since 2009.

"Safety standards are improving, mortality rates are falling...However, we do still have a long way to go in terms of involving patients in decisions about their care, enabling them to understand what their options are and ensuring they can always reliably and safely get the best quality care."

Richard Hamblin of the NHS safety regulator the Care Quality Commission said the Dr Foster survey could be a "useful tool".

"If a mortality rate is higher than we would expect, or higher than it is elsewhere, we need to start asking why is this?" he said.

 

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