Death rates in Barking and Dagenham are among highest in UK
DEATH rates at hospitals run by the borough’s health trust are among the highest in the country, according to a new report – but health chiefs insist that they are improving.
Patients at only nine of the 147 health trusts in England are dying more frequently than at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHR).
The trust – which runs King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, and Queen’s Hospital, Romford – is among 28 listed as having higher than expected mortality by the Dr Foster Hospital Guide, the body that works with the Department of Health. It puts the national average for hospital mortality rates at 100, with BHR at 116.
BHR chief executive John Goulston said: “Our mortality ratio improved by nine points on the previous year, but other hospitals have made more rapid improvements and we are disappointed to still be towards the bottom of the national table.
“We have audited areas where the figures suggest we have higher rates of death, and Dr Foster is reassured that no issues of poor care have been identified.
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“Since April our mortality ratios have improved even further and now stand at less than 102.”
The health trust also fares badly for the care of stroke patients. The report says it is performing “below expectations” for the urgent treatment of stroke patients, while it “meets expectations” for diagnosis and prevention of strokes.
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Mr Goulston said: “Much of the information in the guide is now out of date.
“In particular, the trust’s stroke care has improved so much in the past year that it has been given a national award.
“The Dr Foster data was taken some time ago, when the trust was in the bottom quartile for stroke performance.
“Since that time we have opened our Hyper Acute Stroke Unit and have leapt into the upper quartile.”