Low death rates at Herts hospital

Health news
Health news

West Hertfordshire 
Hospitals NHS Trust has been recognised as one of just 17 trusts in England to have had a ‘lower than expected’ 
mortality rate between 
January-December 2014.

The trust runs Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford hospitals.

Trust bosses say that the improvement has been the result of a wide range of initiatives, including an increased number of consultants who provide a greater proportion of care for patients.

Dr Mike van der Watt, medical director of West Hertfordshire Hospitals, said: “This is extremely pleasing news.

“Reducing the death rates is the result of thousands of small pieces of work to 
improve patient safety, all coming together.

“We have moved from being in the worst 10 per cent of hospitals to be in the company of a small group of some of the best hospitals in thi s country.”

The three hospitals see roughly 600,000 patients a year. The trust is one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and 
volunteers.

The report looks at each Trust’s SHMI (Summary Hospital-level Mortality 
Indicator), which is worked out by the number of deaths in hospital, and the number that would be expected based on the type of hospital(s) in each trust.

West Hertfordshire 
Hospitals Trust had 1,922 deaths, rather than the 
projected figure of 2,132.

Dr van der Watt added: “We know we have more work to do and will continue to work with our partners to improve things even more.”

The trust has improved significantly over the past two years, having previously been rated as a high relative risk in April 2013 to now being classed as a low relative risk.