The RWHT has a tremendous reputation for patient safety, I am
proud that within our hospital, safety and quality of patient care
are at the heart of everything we do. Recently we passed  days
without a MRSA blood stream infection. In this way, I want to
assure our patients and staff that we rigorously monitor the
rates of mortality in this hospital to identify if any action need
to be taken to improve the care we offer our patients.
Dr. Foster, a commercial organisation, will be publishing the
Dr. Foster Good Hospital Guide in the Observer on Sunday 28
November. The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust will be
named as an outlier for the hospital standardised mortality rates
(HSMR) and this is assumed to be an indicator of quality and
mortality, which is not the case. We have done a great deal
to analyse our mortality over a longer period of time and our full
report with an audit example is available to download at the
bottom of this page.
HSMRs have generated considerable debate and public interest.
We believe that along with other measures such as, death
rates, standardised mortality ratio (SMR), the level of community
services, hospice provision, deprivation and a full understanding
of the local context, they can help us to understand comparative
information about in-hospital deaths.
It has been recognised in the British Medical Journal that Dr
Foster HSMRs have limitations and should not be used as a sole
indicator of patient safety.
- Our own detailed analysis shows that our death rates have
stayed level for a number of years, despite sharp rises in the
amount of patients that choose to come to our hospital from other
neighbouring regions. In 2009/10 the number of observed deaths was
less than the previous year.
- Our death rate is lower than the West Midlands
- Our clinical audits have shown that the way in which we monitor
mortality is robust and that we are proactive in making changes to
heighten patient safety and quality.
- We have already looked into these statistics and last year
undertook detailed reviews of several complex conditions which
contributed to the high HSMR in Dr Foster’s Good Hospital
Guide. The Trust Board is satisfied that each mortality was
risk assessed, the explanations explored and appropriate actions
were taken by the clinical team to ensure the safety of patients.
The Care Quality Commission (independent regulator of health and
social care in England) corroborated our findings.
I would like to reassure our patients that we will continue to
look for improvements; we will continue to challenge our clinical
practice so that our services are even safer.
David Loughton, CBE
Report - An Analysis of Mortality Performance in
2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11
Audit of emergency
readmission following primary total hip replacement at New Cross