Hospital death rates concern for South Tyneside

figures under scrutiny ... South Tyneside District Hospital. Inset, Dr Alan Rodgers.
figures under scrutiny ... South Tyneside District Hospital. Inset, Dr Alan Rodgers.

HOSPITAL death rates in South TYneside are significantly higher than expected, latest data has revealed

For the year ending June 2014, 948 deaths were predicted for the Trust, which runs South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields and also St Bededict’s Hospice in Ryhope, Sunderland.

But 1,092 deaths were recorded, which is 15 per cent more than expected.

The figures from the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI), which has been gathered by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, is the ratio between the actual number of patients who die following hospitalisation at the trust and the number that would be expected to die on the basis of the characteristics of the patients treated there.

However, trust bosses say their figures are higher because they include the hospice’s data and if those deaths were removed, the borough’s figures would be in line the country’s average.

Dr Alan Rodgers, medical director at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We regularly review our mortality data and have robust systems to review deaths in hospital to ensure care is of a good standard and any lessons are learned. The figures quoted include a hospice which is part of our Trust although sited in a neighbouring district. The patients who die in the hospice are included in our figures but have not actually been treated by our Trust until they are admitted for end of life care.

If those figures are excluded our Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) falls to the average and we are not an outlier. Our patients can be reassured that mortality in South Tyneside hospitals is not above average.”