Mortality rates at an East Yorkshire NHS Trust have fallen for two consecutive years according to an independent report, which now makes it one of the safest Trusts in the country.
Dr Foster has released its 2013 Hospital Guide, within which Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is shown to be outperforming many other Trusts when it comes to Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR). The Trust’s mortality ratio now stands at 92.42, down from 104.34 in 2011/12 and 118.45 in 2010/11, meaning fewer patients are dying whilst in the care of Castle Hill Hospital and Hull Royal Infirmary.
Professor Ian Philp, Chief Medical Officer for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, says:
“Over the last few years, the Trust has made a concerted effort to improve patient care under the leadership of our frontline health professionals, and this is clearly having a positive impact on our HSMR.
“This is the second consecutive year in which we’ve seen a reduction, taking us from a ‘Higher than expected’ score two years ago to this year’s ‘Lower than expected’ rating and placing us amongst the safest Trusts in the country. To make such an improvement in just two years is incredible. This is clearly a reflection of the hard work our doctors and nurses have been putting into projects such as Pioneer Teams, which have seen services transformed and patient outcomes improve dramatically in just 12 weeks, and into improving the quality of our recorded information.”
The Trust is shown to be performing within the expected range when it comes to providing consistent care for patients across both weekdays and weekends, including the provision of key tests such as MRI scans and upper GI diagnostics tests. The data also shows the Trust’s emergency readmission rate for patients discharged during the week to be lower than average.
However, the report also suggests the Trust has a higher than expected mortality rate in patients with complex illness following surgical procedures, and health professionals are now working to understand the data behind this score more fully.
Professor Philp continues:
“We have already started to look at the data which has been used to compile this score and initial investigations suggest that at least half of the deaths occurred in patients who were undergoing medical procedures rather than actual surgery under anaesthetic, and many of these patients were already critically ill.
“We see it as our duty to give the best possible care to our patients, so we will intervene and carry out procedures on patients to give them the best possible chance of survival, even if they are really poorly and their outlook is not overly positive. I think this is something which most people would want us to do if it were their relative or loved one, but this approach clearly does not reflect well when it comes to scoring systems such as this.
“Being rated ‘higher than expected’ in this area does not mean that patients should be worried; our overall mortality rates continue to fall and those relating to general surgery are also lower than would be expected.
“However, to ensure we identify all of the issues which have contributed to this result, we will continue to go through the data and we will be reviewing every case individually to see what we can learn and agree the way forward in terms of actions for improvement.
“Our progress on mortality over the last two years clearly shows that we are capable of working in ways which lead to direct and sustainable improvements in both the quality of our services and quality of life for our patients, and patients should be reassured by that.”