Mortality rates

The summary hospital-level mortality indicator (SHMI) was introduced across England in October 2011 as a single, consistent measure of mortality rates*.

The latest SHMI data was published in July 2013, covering January 2012 to December 2012. For this period there were only 15 trusts in the country with a ratio that was ‘better than expected’, and St George’s was one of them with a ratio of 0.81 (expected average = 1).

At St George’s we continue to use the hospital standardised mortality ratio (HSMR) in addition to the SHMI to monitor mortality. With the HSMR, if our mortality matched the expected rate our score would be 100. For the period January 2012 to December 2012 our score of 80.1 also indicates that mortality at the trust is better than expected.

The trust’s Mortality Monitoring Group, which is chaired by an Associate Medical Director and has members from across a number of services and professions, meets on a monthly basis. This group considers both the SHMI and the HSMR alongside mortality at diagnosis and procedure level. In addition the group review all deaths that have occurred in the trust following an elective admission. By looking at this range of data we are able to scrutinise our outcomes and the care we provide to patients. Where lessons need to be learned these are identified and acted upon and where best practice is observed this is recognised and acknowledged.

*The SHMI gives the ratio between the actual number of patients who die following a treatment at the trust and the number that would be expected to die on the basis of average England figures, given the characteristics of the patients treated there. It covers all deaths reported of patients who were admitted to acute, non-specialist trusts and either die while in hospital or within 30 days of discharge.