More deaths than expected at Weston General Hospital

PUBLISHED: 10:54 10 April 2017

Weston General Hospital.

Weston General Hospital.


Weston General Hospital continues to have higher than expected patient death rates, as its medical director says safety is its ‘prime concern’.

NHS Digital has released hospital mortality rates for October 2015 to December 2016 using a measure known as the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI), which covers deaths in hospitals and within 30 days of discharge.

The figures reveal more people died after treatment at the hospital – which is run by Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT) – than were predicted to.

A mortality rate of 874 people is what would be expected for that period, but 1,007 deaths were recorded during the 14-month timeframe.

The figures make the Weston-super-Mare trust one of just 10 trusts out of 136 nationwide to report a higher than expected death rate. It also had a higher than expected number of deaths for the same period in the previous year.

The estimates are created using the characteristics of patients, for example their age, sex, how they are admitted and what underlying medical conditions they may have.

WAHT’s medical director Dr Nick Lyons said the SHMI is ‘very complicated’ as it includes patients who may have died of causes unrelated to their hospital visit.

He said: “We take the data extremely seriously and we have already implemented a number of measures which we know may take time to have an impact.

“Many of our indicators already fall within normal expectations for our patient demographic – Weston sees a higher population of older people and many of our patients are frail and elderly.

“This may go some way to explaining the data, but we are continuing to review what the statistics are telling us and from the evidence we’ll take further action, if necessary.

“Patient safety is, and always will be, our prime concern. Our aim is to continue to reduce mortality rates over the coming weeks and months.”

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