Trust on spot over high mortality rates

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THE health trust which runs the Royal Lancaster Infirmary has one of the highest mortality rates in the country, according to a report released this week.

But bosses at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust claim there are problems with the way the data has been collected by the Dr Foster Hospital Guide.

The trust, which runs the RLI and Morecambe’s Queen Victoria Hospital, has a higher than average mortality rate, scoring 124 in the guide’s hospital standardised mortality ratio (HSMR) for deaths in hospitals, with 100 considered the norm.

That, combined with a figure for all deaths in and out of hospital being 14 per cent above average, puts the trust’s overall mortality rate among the 19 highest in the country.

Dr Foster looks at those patients with diagnoses that most commonly result in death like heart attacks, strokes or broken hips, then works out on average how often they survive their hospital stay.

See the Lancaster Guardian (01-12-11) for full story.