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New hospital mortality rate index to be used across UK
Date:6/9/2011

A team from the University of Sheffield's School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) has developed a new index to measure hospital mortality rates that has been accepted for use by the Department of Health.

Led by Professor Michael Campbell, the team, including Drs Richard Jacques and James Fotheringham, were commissioned in January 2011 by the Department of Health to develop and test a new index to look at deaths following a hospital admission. In the past this has mainly been done by a company called Dr Foster, which produced the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR). This index identified Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Hospital as a failing hospital in March 2009, prompting a public inquiry after its failings were widely publicised.

As part of a package of measures being introduced to prevent such cases, the Department of Health wanted to look at a new indicator that could identify failings sooner. They also wanted an index based on deaths in hospital and 30 days after discharge, to try and discourage hospitals from discharging dying patients to improve their statistics.

A report from the Steering Group for the National Review of the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care, Whalley, 2010) states: "Hospital mortality rates have been used in parts of the NHS for a number of years. There has however been no consistency in how they should and indeed should not be used. Recently, the way they have been used has been the subject of controversy, to the extent that doubts have been voiced about the NHS's openness or otherwise to national and local scrutiny concerning mortality rates.

"This has eroded public confidence. The NHS now operates rightly in line with very high public expectations for openness, transparency and accountability. This means that the use of indicators comparing expected and observed trends in a range of NHS activity, and especially rega
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Contact: Amy Stone
a.f.stone@sheffield.ac.uk
01-142-221-046
University of Sheffield
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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