PERFORMANCE: Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust is one of three NHS organisations in the south reporting higher than expected death rates.

The trust was identified, along with NHS Isle of Wight and Medway NHS Foundation Trust, as having a higher than expected hospital standardised mortality ratio (HSMR) or summary hospital level mortality indicator (SHMI).

Strategic Health Authority cluster board papers reveal that “the HSMR from April 2010 to March 2011 for Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust was at 117.5 (1,010 observed deaths versus an expected 859.6 deaths).

“Data for the last five months (to July 2011) shows HSMR at 99.3, 95.4, 119.7, 98.2, and 87.2 respectively. This demonstrates an improving position.”

In addition, the papers noted that an alert on fractured neck of femur had been previously raised by the Care Quality Commission.

“Work to improve the quality of care for patients with fractured neck of femur has been undertaken and the Care Quality Commission has removed the alert in recent weeks, being content with the corrective intervention,” it said.