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Hospital Death Rates in Shropshire - Cause for Concern?

There are fears that more people are dying than would be expected at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital, Telford.  New figures from the Department of Health compare the number of deaths that occur in hospitals – or within 30 days of discharge - compared with the number of deaths that would be expected from looking at how old the patient is, type of illness  etc.

The Shropshire hospitals had a death rate that was more than 10% higher than expected for 2010/2011 which of course raises real concerns that the hospitals need to do more to ensure patients are given high quality treatment and care. 

Another 36 Trusts across the country have also been identified as having higher than expected patient death rates in the “Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator”.  These statistics provide a new way for this vital information to be checked and monitored, and comparisons made with other hospitals to improve patient care. 

It’s hoped this will set alarm bells ringing when there are problems such as those that have recently emerged in the Mid Staffordshire hospitals (which are now the subject of a public inquiry) before further unnecessary deaths occur.