PERFORMANCE: Medway NHS Foundation 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 Dartford and Gravesham NHS 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 “an immediate review has been undertaken to seek assurance that appropriate action has been taken in response to the findings” at Medway FT.

“A previous review by the trust to examine the reasons for the changes in the HSMR had led to changes to the coding of palliative care patients, to comply with Department of Health requirements,” the papers said.

“The trust has confirmed that deficiencies in patient care were not identified. The commissioning primary care trust (Kent Cluster) is awaiting a clinical governance review in light of a proposed merger and will undertake a further review of mortality on receipt of this,” they add.