North Staffordshire NHS Trust – statistics show poor performance

Recent statistics show that the University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust is falling behind many other trusts around the country with regards to its results of some key performance indicators. Patients who use the hospital are sure to be interested by the results of the Dr Foster Hospital Guide 2011 study, which has found that the hospital in question is posting higher than expected rates in 3 of the 4 measured areas.

For instance, with regards to the deaths after surgery measure, the University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust achieved a significantly high score of 146. The lowest score for this measure was 29, which demonstrates the big gap between the best and worst performing hospitals on this front.

The hospital in question also had a higher than expected score for its HSMR indicator, which looks at 56 different conditions that account for 80% of hospital deaths. It had a score of 116, again with many other hospitals achieving lower scores. The other measure it had a higher than expected score for was the deaths in low risk conditions measure, for which it had a score of 1.39.

This is considerably higher than many other trusts so, even though the statistics don’t tell us the specific causes of these results from the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, they suggest that the hospital has some work to do in order to provide patients with the consistently high standard of care that they have a right to expect.

The trust covers both city Gen and North Staffordshire Royal infirmary in Stoke-on-Trent and covers a large area – serving a population of half a million people.

Sadly, therefore, it wasn’t a particular surprise when in September, the hospital admitted the tragic news that two babies had died in July following infections picked up at the  hospitals Neonatal Intensive Care. It was interesting to note that this wasn’t admitted publicly until September – perhaps a further sign the hospital simply is not being open and accepting the fact that some of their standards are simply not good enough.

In our experience, hospitals who perform badly on the Dr Foster study to do have a much higher rate of medical negligence claims. Hospitals like North Staffordshire clearly need to significantly improve the performance that – otherwise the health and indeed lives of patients at the hospital will be put unnecessarily at risk. And also that your hospital covers a large area – a population of 1/2 million.

What’s more, this level of medical negligence is nothing new – it comes on the back of an investigation into the hospital’s poor practices back in 2008. What’s sad is that those people running North Staffordshire hospital still doesn’t seem to have learnt the lessons – how many more people will have to die before they do?

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