New report into death rates at hospital

Scunthorpe General Hospital.
Scunthorpe General Hospital.

A SECOND report has shown death rates at the trust which runs Scunthorpe General Hospital are higher than normal.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was one of 12 trusts identified as having higher than expected patient death rates in the Dr Foster Hospital Guide 2012.

But the trust hit back this week and said some of the figures are 18 months old and more up-to-date figures show the inpatient crude mortality rate has actually improved.

The Dr Foster report, which used data between April 2011 and March 2012, showed the trust had fallen short on two of four mortality rate indicators - which includes deaths following hospital treatment and deaths while in hospital care.

The report states: “These measures are to be used as a warning sign that poor-quality care may be leading to a higher-than-expected mortality.

“With the rising demand for care and falling revenues, there are concerns that trusts will focus more (or exclusively) on cost of care rather than quality of care.”

This latest report comes after a review in September showed the trust was one of the ten worst in the country for the number of patients dying in hospital.

But the trust said this week that new figures which go up to October 2012 showed the number of deaths at the hospital had dropped compared with the previous 12 months.

Karen Jackson, Chief Executive at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said patient safety is of the “utmost importance to every trust employee.”