NHS Trusts Record Excess Deaths of Up to 15,000 Patients

At 19 of England’s 133 NHS trusts, there were over 15,000 patient deaths more between 2011 and 2016 than what was expected.

The link that was connected between the factors of this issue was the high mortality rates in England compared to the lower-than-average number of doctors. With more and more hospital beds being filled, this is an important factor in the high level of mortality rates. Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation trust recorded the highest number of deaths among patients. In this hospital, 88% of beds that were overseen were occupied in 2015-2016. The recommended level of beds is 85% that should be occupied. During the 2015-2016 period, there were 59 doctors for every one hundred beds. The national average is 83 doctors for every one hundred beds. Meanwhile, Barts Health NHS trust recorded the least amount of deaths of patients. In this trust, there were 93% of beds occupied that were overseen by this trust. However, unlike Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation trust, there were 122 doctors for every one hundred beds between the 2015-2016 period. For a full list of NHS hospital trusts, visit: http://bbc.in/2miwEfr

Professor Sir Brian Jarman from Imperial College London conducted this analysis. He found that hospitals that have the highest death rates have less than average doctors per bed than the national average. Almost all of the NHS trusts have more overcrowding than most would expect. To examine the mortality rates throughout the trusts, Professor Jarman used a measure called the Summary Hospital-Level Mortality Indicator, or SMHI. The SMHI tool will measure deaths that occur in the hospital as well as within up to 30 days after discharge. The trusts with significantly high mortality rates all had below average numbers of doctors per bed. The trusts with low death rates had above average doctor numbers.

Another factor that went into the analysis was the demographic of the area of the trusts. The hospitals with the worst facilities and number of staff are located in the areas with the biggest change in demographics, including the sick and needy. The population of Blackpool is one of the most deprived in the England, due to the high levels of HIV, drug and alcohol misuse, and anti-depressant prescribing. The government’s failure to fund adult social care had a detrimental affect on the state of the local NHS. Another problem with Blackpool is that the majority of patients who come are already in a pretty bad state when they arrive at the hospital.

To find out more on this topic, read more here: http://bbc.in/2mivIID