PERFORMANCE: Barnsley Hospital Foundation Trust is hoping to reduce its mortality rates by this autumn. A package of work – including looking at coding, reviewing never events, and an external scrutiny of surgical site infections – is ongoing. The trust also has a project on early warning systems and recognising deteriorating patients.

It is not one of the 14 trusts which are outliers on mortality rates and are currently being scrutinised. But the trust board heard that it had been close to being an outlier in 2011 on the HMSR measure. This has now reduced and was 106.3 from April to October in 2012. The Dr Foster measure – SHMI – was 108 for the period from July 2011 to June 2012. The trust aims to reduce the HMSR to 100 by October.

An audit of recent deaths suggested that in many cases the patients had end-stage disease and were in hospital for a relatively short time before death, raising the question of whether they would have been better cared for their normal home.