Health chiefs reviewing higher than expected number of deaths following hospitalisation in Milton Keynes

Health chiefs are probing why one of Milton Keynes Hospital’s measurements of patient deaths has been higher than expected.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 1:17 pm
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 1:18 pm

A meeting this week was told that health commissioners are talking to the hospital’s medical director about figures showing the number of deaths being about 16 per cent above the expected number.

Anne Murray, the chief nurse at the BLMK commissioning collaborative, said that the hospital is “absolutely doing all the correct work” and that none of the other ways of measuring deaths are giving any cause for concern.

The meeting of the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) clinical commissioning collaborative heard on Tuesday that there are lots of ways that mortality is measured.

MK University Hospital (Google)

But every death is reviewed, and the hospital is confident that the mortality rate does not reveal an issue overall issue of quality of care.

Ms Murray said that the hospital think the issue is to do with how they been recording patient information.

“We will maintain the dialogue with the trust but I am confident that the trust is doing right work,” she said.

The issue is centred on a statistic called the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI).

It compares the actual number of deaths after hospitalisation with the number who would be expected to die on the basis of average figures and the characteristics of patients.

A spokesperson for the hospital said: “We don’t think the data presents a quality concern as all the other metrics indicate that we are in-line with expected figures and that the way we categorise patients is a key reason the SHMI figure is higher.”

From April the hospital is changing its statistical support to give a “better categorisation of patients.”

Dr Reckless has previously reported to the hospital’s board of directors in 2020 that out of 289 deaths reviewed there was only one care quality concern.

And he said the hospital is encouraging colleagues to raise concerns they have about the quality of care.