Mid Cheshire hospital chiefs defend mortality stats

Crewe Guardian: A report released on Friday named Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as one of 16 hospital trusts with an above average mortality level. A report released on Friday named Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as one of 16 hospital trusts with an above average mortality level.

MID Cheshire hospital chiefs have defended new figures which say it has ‘higher than average’ death rates.

A report released on Friday from health statistics firm Dr Foster, named Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as one of 16 hospital trusts with an above average mortality level.

But MCHFT (Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust), which manages Leighton Hospital, Crewe, the Victoria Infirmary, Northwich and Elmhurst Intermediate Care Centre, Winsford, believes the way data was collected may have affected figures.

A spokesman for MCHFT said: “The Trust does not subscribe to the model produced by Dr Foster Intelligence – it uses two alternative nationally-accepted models.

“While all three produce mortality ratios, the methodology and technical definitions for each model vary, resulting in different values.

“While one model indicates that the Trust is within the ‘as expected’ range, and has been improving consistently over the past three years, another classifies it as having a ‘higher than expected’ mortality rate.

“The Trust has been working closely with the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre to understand this data, and their independent external review has concluded that a data recording issue caused one of the models to spike into the ‘higher than expected’ category.

“The Trust’s own calculations indicate that when the data recording issue is addressed, it will once again be rated ‘as expected’ and this has been validated by the HSCIC.”

Dr Foster’s report uses four indictors including a standard measure of in-hospital deaths, deaths within 30 days of the patient leaving hospital, deaths after surgery and deaths among people with low-risk conditions who would normally survive.

It rated MCHFT ‘as expected’ for the number of deaths after surgery and deaths in low risk groups.

The MCHFT spokesman added: “The Trust would like to reassure patients that it is committed to providing the highest possible standards of patient safety and quality of care, and work is already ongoing to make improvements in all areas, particularly in relation to staffing levels and mortality.”

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