Report highlights death rates at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust

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A STUDY by NHS analysts has found higher than expected death rates at the district’s hospitals.

But Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust said the figures were not accurate.

The Dr Foster Hospital Guide found that Mid Yorkshire, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, had an above average Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR), an overall measure of deaths while in hospital care.

Mid Yorkshire’s score for 2011-12 was 108 against a national average of 100.

But the trust said a number of factors made the figures appear higher than they should and more recent data showed it’s HSMR score was now 95.

Medical director Dr Richard Jenkins said: “We know we have been providing the right care but we have not been providing all the information Dr Foster needed to make an accurate calculation of our expected mortality rate which therefore makes our actual mortality rates appear higher than they should.”

The report found Mid Yorkshire was within expectations in three other mortality measures, deaths following hospital treatment, deaths after surgery and deaths from low-risk health conditions.

But it was among five NHS trusts with higher than expected mortality rates among emergency patients at weekends.

The report said: “The reason for this could be inadequate staffing levels but, equally, a lack of out-of-hours primary, community or social care services, which means patients are inappropriately admitted to hospital.”

Mid Yorkshire said a significant number of palliative care patients had been admitted to hospital at weekends during the final hours of life.

Dr Jenkins added: “There is no link between our staffing and these statistics. The statistics show things have improved here over the last six months.”