Hospital mortality rates drop by more than a fifth

Watford General Hospital
Watford General Hospital
  • Mortality rate across Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans hospitals fall by 21%
  • Figures compare April 2013 to September 2014
  • Medical director warns Trust should not be complacent

Hospital mortality rates across West Herts have seen a significant drop of more than a fifth in recent months, according to latest figures.

The number of deaths across Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans hospitals reduced by more than 21% between April 2013 and September 2014, data published by healthcare analysist service Dr Foster reveals.

The disparity in figures compares to a national mortality rate decrease of just 3.3%.

Between April and June 2013, the hospital standardised mortality ratio for the area’s hospitals, run by the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, was 108 – but had dropped to 85 by September last year.

When tracked over time, the hospital standardised mortality ratio or HSMR can indicate how successful hospitals have been in reducing inpatient deaths and improving care.

Dr Mike van der Watt, medical director for the Trust, said: “I am extremely pleased with the new figures published by Dr Foster and I hope they offer added reassurance to our patients and local people about the safety and quality of the care provided in our hospitals.

Hemel Hempstead Hospital

Hemel Hempstead Hospital

“Our doctors, nurses, midwives and other staff work hard to provide the best quality service to our patients and these figures show that they are doing a good job.

“However, we are not complacent and we need to continue to keep our mortality rates low.”

The figures also show that the three hospitals in West Herts outstripped the improvement made at 11 trusts that had been put into ‘special measures’ by the government, which had seen a drop of 9.4% during the same period.

GP and chairman of the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Nicolas Small said he was ‘very pleased’ by the improvements shown in the recent results, while Geoff Brown, chief executive of Healthwatch Hertfordshire, said: “These figures are excellent and the staff at Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans hospitals are to be commended for all that they’ve done to reduce mortality at the hospitals by so much and in such a short time.”

These figures show our staff are doing a good job. However, we are not complacent and we need to continue to keep our mortality rates low.

Dr Mike van der Watt

For more information on the hospitals, visit www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk, www.facebook.com/westhertsNHS or follow @WestHertsNHS on Twitter.