Lincolnshire hospitals trust investigated for high death rates
The body that runs Lincolnshire's hospitals is being investigated for high death rates.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) is one of 14 organisations under the spotlight.
Sir Bruce Keogh today announced nine more trusts, including ULHT, would be added to a list published on February 6.
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is also included.
The investigation was launched in response to a request from the Prime Minister in the wake of the Stafford Hospital scandal.
Sir Bruce said: "These hospitals are already working closely with a range of regulators.
"If there were concerns that services were unsafe the regulators should have intervened.
"The purpose of my investigation is to assure patients, public and Parliament that these hospitals understand why they have a high mortality and have all the support they need to improve.
"This will be a thorough and rigorous process, involving patients, clinicians, regulators and local organisations."
The five trusts announced on February 6 have been "outliers" for two years on the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI).
And the nine organisations announced today have been "outliers" for two years on the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR).
The trust said its mortality rates had improved in the last year although admitted there was "still more work to do".
A statement said: "We welcome the investigation into mortality indicators within our trust and hope that it will provide an opportunity to demonstrate the progress that we have made on mortality thanks to the hard work of our staff.
"Our SHMI continues to fall from a peak of 133 in quarter 3 2009/10.
"In the last available quarter (to June 2012), the Trust was no longer an outlier, with a quarterly SHMI of 106.28. Our HSMR figure has also shown recent improvement.
"Additionally, we have made significant improvements in all areas of patient safety."
The other trusts announced today were:
- North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
- George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
- Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
- The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
- Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Medway NHS Foundation Trust
- Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust