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Death rates are within expected range
9:58am Friday 27th December 2013 in Letters
I HAVE read the Dr Foster Hospital Guide 2013 and, unlike your grossly misleading headline of last week, it makes no mention of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust being “one of the worst” for hospital death rates in the country.
It does indeed point to “higher than expected” death rates in the financial year 2012-2013, but over a three year period and for the first six months of the current financial year the death rates are within the expected range.
There are, no doubt, many circumstances that give rise to higher than expected or lower than expected death rates in any hospital and an absence of community hospitals in south Wiltshire must surely be a major contributory factor in the case of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.
I doubt that the hospital board are in any way complacent about figures such as these, but they must feel deeply offended by your headline, contradicted as it is by the final paragraph of your article, quoting the hospital’s medical director, stating that “HMSR (the hospital standardised mortality rate) should not be used in isolation.
Using a wide range of indicators, including a number of measures of mortality, the national Care Quality Commission had put Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust in Band 6, which was the risk rating given to the safest hospitals.”
You do a grave disservice to your hospital by allowing such a misleading headline to appear.
ROBERT COATE, Upper Woodford
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