• Trauma Audit and Research Network data shows more than expected deaths at two trusts
  • Harrogate and District FT and North Tees and Hartlepool FT both record over two more deaths than expected per 100 patients
  • East Sussex Healthcare Trust says reported performance is a data issue for a second year

Two hospitals have more reported deaths than expected for trauma patients in the last four years, new data reveals.

The latest analysis from the Trauma Audit and Research Network shows Harrogate and District Foundation Trust and North Tees and Hartlepool FT had over two more deaths than expected per 100 patients.

The data was calculated across the period covering January 2014 to December 2017. Harrogate and District had 2.6 more deaths per 100 patients than expected, and North Tees had 2.9 more deaths.

Harrogate and District made no comment. A spokeswoman for North Tees said: “Delivering the best patient care is our utmost priority and we are committed to improving patient outcomes. Since December 2017 we have made significant developments to improve the clinical pathways for our trauma patients, which will compliment processes that we already have in place.”

The TARN data takes account of age, comorbidities and severity of injury.

Other hospitals also saw two or more deaths than expected per 100 patients, but they said this was a data issue.

East Sussex Healthcare Trust had two hospital sites with excess deaths according to the data – 3.3 per 100 at Eastbourne District General Hospital and 0.4 at Conquest Hospital – but both fell outside the 95 per cent confidence interval because of low reporting of cases. Trauma work was centralised at Conquest Hospital in 2012 but the data shows Eastbourne continuing to do some of this work.

The trust was an outlier on last year’s TARN report and said then that “actions are being taken to improve data completeness going forward, which will improve [the trust’s] TARN data across all submission criteria”.

TARN is based in Salford and is part of the universities of Manchester, Leicester and Sheffield. It also works with some hospitals in Europe.

Network executive director Antoinette Edwards said in some cases data completeness could fall suddenly because the administrator at a trust who collects it leaves.

She said: “We are encouraged that case ascertainment [at East Sussex] has been moving strongly in the right direction, however the present ascertainment of between 55 and 66 per cent is still below what we would consider to be adequate to draw reliable conclusions about the quality of care.

“We note that case ascertainment has continued to improve more recently. The effect of this improved data collection will continue to be closely monitored by the national clinical audit.”

She said an “outlier review process” was performed quarterly but would not confirm which departments had been reviewed.