PERFORMANCE: Latest death rate figures have highlighted ongoing problems at George Eliot Hospital Trust, and suggest that a spike in mortality rates elsewhere in Warwickshire earlier this year was short-lived.

Summary hospital-level mortality index data, to be put before the Arden primary care trust cluster board this month show that George Eliot had a rate of 1.23 in July – slightly up on January’s figure of 1.21 and little changed on April’s level.

This means the number of deaths in July were 23 per cent higher than expected for the trust.

The national average SHMI level is 1.

For South Warwickshire Foundation Trust and University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire the SHMI figure has been persistently around 1.1.

Monthly figures put before the cluster’s board in July were based on “healthcare evaluation data”, which uses a shorter timescale than the SHMI, and showed all three trusts significantly above average.

A cluster spokeswoman said those figures, which came from February, had been subject to regional variation and had since come down.