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Mortality rates fluctuate at Lincolnshire hospitals

The latest figures show that the number of deaths across Lincolnshire hospitals went up, but remained below the national expected mortality rate.

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust was criticised in the Keogh review and then put in special measures for higher than average death rates in June 2013.

But mortality rates have reduced, and between April and November 2013 the number of deaths has stayed within or been better than the national expected rate (100).

For the first quarter of 2013/14, ULHT recorded a mortality rate of 88.07, the lowest in the Trust for five years.

But the second quarter (the most recent figure) saw a rise in mortality rates to an average of 94.29 — still below the national average, but a figure that is once again near the national average expected.

Mortality rates are calculated as ratios, taking into account demographics for the local population, type of illness, key treatments, age of patients, and the health of the area.

Trust-wide mortality rates. Data: ULHT
Trust-wide mortality rates. Data: ULHT

A ULHT spokesperson said: ”The mortality rate for our Trust has improved consistently for the past three years, and since April 2013 has been within, or better than the expected range.

“We have been implementing a mortality reduction plan for more than 12 months and are pleased with the results we have seen so far in 2013-14. However we are not complacent and continue to focus our efforts on reducing our mortality rates.

“We have introduced daily ward rounds by senior doctors, including weekends and are moving to a new way of working over seven days a week which has already been introduced in areas such as stroke services where we have performed well.

“Over the last year we have introduced more thorough risk assessments for patients, which result in detailed care plans tailored to individual needs.

“We have committed £7m to a nursing recruitment drive over two years, and have already recruited 300 nurses this year. We continue our campaign in the UK and abroad and are working closely with our training partners to ensure early engagement with final year nursing students about employment opportunities.

“We have made some particular achievements in reducing mortality, for example for patients with hip fractures, and Pilgrim hospital is now among the best in the country.”