Dr Foster’s Hospital Guide for 2010, published on 28th November, reports continued low mortality rates at Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust. Trust Medical Director Dr Mike Baxter, comments: “This year’s guide shows that the Trust continues to have very low overall standardised mortality rates, which is reflective of a low mortality rate in a number of individual conditions which are some of the most common causes of death in hospitals (heart attacks, stroke, pneumonia, congestive heart failure and broken hips). This reflects the expertise of our staff and underlines our commitment to high quality care, with the safety of our patients as an absolute priority.”

In the report, the Trust’s standardised mortality ratio is reported as 90 (where 100 which would be considered the expected number of deaths, taking into account variables such as age, diagnosis and other characteristics). For the ‘basket of 5’ common conditions, Ashford and St Peter’s is reported as having the joint fifth lowest mortality ratio of 83 in the country.

Dr Baxter continues: “Overall we know we perform well in treating these five acute conditions, which should be reassuring for our patients. We have performed particularly well in delivering quick diagnosis to patients who have suffered a stroke, which is the third biggest killer in the UK and timely intervention can significantly improve a patient’s survivability.”

We have also been listed in the report as one of the Trusts that carries out large numbers of urological operations on patients with pelvic cancer. These are specialist, complex procedures which are best done frequently, thereby creating expertise in the teams that carry them out, as we have here.”

On treating fractured hips, Divisional Director for Trauma and Orthopaedics and consultant surgeon Mr David Elliott comments: “We know any delay in surgery for these patients can increase the risk of death and the national target is to operate on 85% of patients within 36 hours of arriving in hospital. We have worked hard to increase the number of patients with fractured hips receiving surgery within the 36 hours, and since the Dr Foster data was submitted during the summer (when our rates were just over 50%), we are now consistently achieving over 80%, which makes us a strong performer nationally.”

The Guide once again highlights the importance of Trusts having good measures of quality and safety in place, from the Board right through the organisation.

Dr Baxter continues: “We regularly monitor our own performance through a series of measures, including a monthly Quality Report which goes to our Trust Board. The Trust is committed to the continual improvement of all clinical services, with further reduction in mortality rates and an improvement in all aspects of our patients’ care and experience.

This latest Hospital Guide confirms that Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals is a safe place for patients to receive care and treatment.”

For more information on the report see www.drfosterhealth.co.uk/hospital-guide

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