Scarborough health trust named as second worst for weekend deaths

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SCARBOROUGH health trust has been named as the second worst in the country for increased mortality rates over weekends, according to the new Dr Foster hospital guide report.

The yearly watchdog report has flagged up a number of trusts who are showing that the percentage of deaths on a weekend is noticeably higher than during the week.

The highest figure, of a 32.3 per cent increase on a weekend, was for The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust.

This was followed by Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Health Care NHS Trust with a figure of 31 per cent.

Other nearby trusts mentioned in the report in the context of high mortality rates were York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

When looking at mortality rates, the report takes into account both the number of deaths in hospital and all deaths within 30 days of discharge.

Hull trust, which runs Castle Hill Hospital and Hull Royal Infirmary, had worse than expected figures on three of the four new measures used to calculate mortality in the report.

The report was critical about the trust, saying it was “notable” for its “consistently high” death rates.

However, a spokeswoman said that the figures did not provide an accurate representation of the trust’s current position with regard to mortality rates.

She said: “The published figure of 118 is not our current position but the average for the period used by Dr Foster.”

Mark Andrews, Medical Director at Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, has also questioned Dr Foster’s use of data in compiling the report.

He said: “Overall the HSMR (Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio) for Scarborough is within the expected range, this is despite challenging local circumstances and a lack of community services for end of life patients, particularly at weekends.

“We are working with Dr Foster to understand why many of our patients are excluded from their data which adversely and artificially affects the figures reported. The Trust continues to make progress and recent developments in the identification of the deteriorating patient will lead to further improvements in care and reported HSMR.”

The use of data was also questioned by former chief executive Richard Sunley in 2009 when the trust was labelled the worst for patient safety in the North of England and the second worst in the whole of the country.