Patients ‘more likely’ to die on weekends

Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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PATIENTS admitted to hospital in Blackpool are more than 10 per cent more likely to die on the ward than the UK average, it’s been revealed.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of 19 trusts throughout the UK to have higher than average death rates based on two key indicators.

The figures were published as it was revealed patients across the UK have a greater chance of dying if they are admitted at a weekend.

A new report published by Doctor Foster Intelligence said the Trust has a High Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) - based on deaths across 56 conditions which represent 80 per cent of hospital deaths – and a high Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI), which takes into account all conditions.

According to the report, the HSMR ratio is 112 at Blackpool while the SHMI is 117 – 100 is the national average.

The figures show at the weekend patients admitted for emergency procedures are 23.6 per cent more likely to die than on average, with a ratio of 123.6.

According to the full report, one-in-eight trusts had higher than expected death rates on Saturdays and Sundays. It said in a “handful” of trusts, the mortality rate was found to have risen 20 per cent or more at weekends.

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The report was said to have found “significantly reduced services at weekends and nights”, and that mortality rates “rise sharply for patients admitted on a Saturday or a Sunday”.

There were nine trusts where out-of-hours mortality “may be a particular problem” as it was within the expected range during the week but rose on Saturdays and Sundays.

Blackpool is not one of these trusts.

NHS medical director, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said while mortality rates in the NHS were going down, hospitals with high out-of-hours rate had to investigate why they may be falling short.

A spokesman for Dr Foster refused to comment on the findings.