Warrington and Halton Hospitals

Hospitals see drop in SHMI

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has reduced its Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) to within expected levels since the latest historic publication of experimental statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The trust was named as one of seven NHS trusts with a higher than expected SHMI rate in recent statistics which looked at the period of April 2012 to March 2013. It was the first time the trust has been named as having a higher than expected SHMI score. The SHMI score looks at deaths in hospital and within 30 days of discharge. SHMI is one of two mortality statistics used in the NHS. The other is HSMR (Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratios) which the trust falls within expected ranges on.

However, the trust has seen it's rolling 12 month score fall from 113 to 108 since April.

The Care Quality Commission (the independent watchdog of healthcare services) also released figures recently showing that Warrington and Halton Hospitals was rated as a low risk across a full range of measures (including mortality rates) of risk affecting safety and quality of care in hospitals. The trust was placed in Band 5 of six bands where Band 1 presents the highest risk and Band 6 is the lowest risk (see more information and links to the CQC's Intelligent Monitoring publication here).

The Dr Foster Good Hospital Guide - which provides analysis of hospital statistics and mortality - did not name the trust as an outlier in its review of mortality published in December 2013 and showed a lower than expected (i.e. good) mortality rate after surgery at the hospitals. You can view the guide here.

Mel Pickup, chief executive at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“As part of our drive to continuously improve quality of care, we monitor mortality rates on a monthly basis and are proactive in addressing any areas of concern. Our most recent data shows that our SHMI is falling on a monthly basis and our latest SHMI is 108 for the 12 month period September 2012 to August 2013. SHMI is just one indicator that should be used to trigger review and action which is exactly what we have done. We work extensively at ensuring best practice care for all patients including improving palliative care and care for deteriorating patients at our hospitals. We are confident that our rates will continue to fall over the coming months."

Actions that the trust has been actively working on include:

  • Reviewing the trust’s care pathways and best practice care bundles to ensure a high standard of care for every patient, every time
  • More robust analysis, use and distribution of mortality data (including CQC surveillance indicators) to identify areas requiring further review
  • Providing data to doctors on their activity and how this benchmarks with local and national peers, as part of their appraisal and revalidation process
  • Reporting mortality data and ratios HSMR and SHMI to trust board

For further media information on this story simply email communications@whh.nhs.uk

Published: 06/12/2013

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