UCLH among best in the country for mortality rates 

07/11/2011 00:00 

UCLH has the third lowest mortality rate in England, according to the latest data.

UCLH among best in the country for mortality rates 

The NHS Information Centre (NHSIC) published new data based on all deaths in hospital and those that occur up to 30 days after discharge. UCLH achieved the third lowest score with mortality rates 28 per cent below the national average.
 
The indicator covers all deaths of patients admitted to hospital and those that occur up to 30 days after discharge from hospital.
 
It is the first time the NHS Information Centre has used what is known as the ‘summary hospital-level mortality indicator’ to highlight the extent which mortality rates vary from trust to trust.
 
It compares the actual number of patients who die following treatment at a trust with the number who would be expected to die, given the characteristics of the patients treated there.
 
It differs from other mortality indicators because it considers all deaths that take place in a trust as well as those taking place within 30 days of discharge. As a result, it offers a new and more comprehensive picture of deaths following hospital care.
 
Sir Robert Naylor, UCLH chief executive, said: “It is not surprising that one of the key things patients ask themselves before they come to hospital is: ‘What will the outcome be?’ along with ‘Will it be safe?’ and ‘What will the experience be like?’

 “We pride ourselves on offering the very best care to our patients and these impressive statistics are a reflection of this commitment.”

The NHS IC was commissioned by the Department of Health to produce the measure and it has been developed in consultation with a wide range of experts. It is currently classed as ‘experimental' which means its methodology may be refined in the light of feedback from trusts and other users.

Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI), England 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 (Experimental statistics) shows mortality rates – or SHMI values – for every acute non-specialist trust in England.
It categorises them as: ‘as expected', ‘higher than expected' and ‘lower than expected' using two differing methods of classification.

The SHMI values of 14 trusts were ‘higher than expected' under both methods, while those of 14 trusts were ‘lower than expected' under both methods.

NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: “The SHMI is best treated as a ‘smoke alarm' that should be used locally by individual hospital trusts to assess and investigate their mortality-related outcomes.

“Though a powerful measure, it should not be taken in isolation as a headline figure of trust performance. It requires careful interpretation and for that reason it is not specifically tailored for use by patients or the public, though we understand there will be clear interest in it.

“Hospital mortality rates have been used across the NHS for a number of years and have been useful in helping trusts identify trends that need further investigation.

“The SHMI marks a major step forward for the NHS, as it will be the single summary hospital-level mortality indicator that will be used consistently across the NHS. We have ensured that everyone can see how it is calculated by publishing details of its methodology on our website. We've done this both in the spirit of transparency and also to help encourage debate about the measure and how it is used."

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