Fourteen hospital trusts have been identified as the poorest performers in the first official hospital-wide mortality ratings.
The NHS Information Centre published the summary hospital-level mortality indicator (SHMI) for all non-specialist acute trusts today, after the measure was agreed by a Department of Health review.
The 14 trusts that have been given the lowest banding score of one, after statistical adjustments have been applied, are likely to face attention from the national and local media.
Several of the 14 have been poorly rated previously by similar indicators, such as the Doctor Foster hospital standardised mortality ratio, or have had quality problems highlighted by regulators.
A further 22 trusts received the lowest banding score under a different DH sanctioned method – results of which have also been published.
NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said in a statement: “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.”
He added: “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.”
The DH briefed journalists ahead of the publication yesterday, stressing the limitations of the measure for judging the quality of a hospital’s services.
The figures will be published each quarter.
The 14 trusts, ordered from highest ratio of deaths to expected deaths to the lowest, are:
- GEORGE ELIOT HOSPITAL NHS TRUST
- ISLE OF WIGHT NHS PRIMARY CARE TRUST
- EAST AND NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE NHS TRUST
- BLACKPOOL TEACHING HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- TAMESIDE HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- MEDWAY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- YORK TEACHING HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- NORTHERN LINCOLNSHIRE AND GOOLE HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- BASILDON AND THURROCK UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- HULL AND EAST YORKSHIRE HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
- NORTHAMPTON GENERAL HOSPITAL NHS TRUST
- EAST LANCASHIRE HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
- UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS OF MORECAMBE BAY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- WESTERN SUSSEX HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
Fourteen trusts were also given the highest banding score of three, awarded for the lowest ratio of observed deaths to actual deaths. From the lowest ratio to the highest, they are:
- THE WHITTINGTON HOSPITAL NHS TRUST
- BARTS AND THE LONDON NHS TRUST
- UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- IMPERIAL COLLEGE HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST
- ROYAL FREE HAMPSTEAD NHS TRUST
- ST GEORGE’S HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST
- CHELSEA AND WESTMINSTER HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- NEWHAM UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL NHS TRUST
- NORTH WEST LONDON HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
- SHEFFIELD TEACHING HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- KINGSTON HOSPITAL NHS TRUST
- JAMES PAGET UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
- EALING HOSPITAL NHS TRUST