You can’t fully judge a hospital based only on its mortality rates, but this is obviously a key indicator of the care that can be expected from specific hospitals and trusts. According to the Dr Foster Hospital Guide 2011, the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is not performing as expected with regards to two key mortality measures looked at in the guide.
Even though the trust has achieved mortality rates in the expected range for the other two mortality measures – deaths after surgery and deaths in low risk conditions – the other two rates are showing higher than expected results.
Specifically, we are looking at the SHMI and HSMR measures. The SHMI looks at the deaths of patients following hospital treatment, and the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has posted a rate of 117. This is significantly higher than many of the other hospitals and trusts included in the 2011 Hospital Guide.
The HSMR is a measure that looks at 56 conditions that make up 80% of hospital deaths. The Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust had a rate of 112, which again is higher than many of the other scores posted, some of which were as low as 67. This suggests that there are issues to be looked at with the trust in question in order to improve its mortality rates and ensure that patients are fully confident in the service that the trust provides.
So what, exactly, does this mean for you as a patient. Let’s hope that these awful wake Blackpool hospital up – so that they start introducing the sort of benchmark standards that the Dr Foster site recommends. However pending an improvement, it’s likely to mean that there will be a disproportionate number of medical negligence claims made against a Blackpool hospital. Furthermore, some patients, if they are able to choose, may prefer treatment at another hospital. The head of our medical negligence team has said to me more than once that there are some hospitals which she would not want to enter as a patient – my gut feeling is that currently, based on the Dr Foster survey, Blackpool Hospital may be one of them.
If you feel you have been the victim of medical negligence at Blackpool Hospital, phone or email our solicitors today for free initial phone advice and a free first appointment. Remember, wherever you live in England and Wales, our specialist medical solicitors can help – we can take your instructions by phone, email and Skype video.