Two Kent NHS trusts show low death rates

Doctor, nurse and patient
Image caption Dr Foster rated death rates in hospitals, deaths after surgery and a range of other measures

An analysis of deaths in hospitals across England has found two Kent NHS trusts have lower than expected mortality rates.

The two trusts were East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, and Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS.

Monitoring body Dr Foster produced the survey which looks at overall death rates and deaths after surgery.

The report also named East Kent Hospitals as its 2010 overall trust of the year for putting patients first.

Dr Foster found 19 NHS trusts had higher death rates than would be expected. But the report on 147 trusts showed an improvement on 2009, when the total figure was 27.

Roger Taylor, director of research at Dr Foster, said there seemed to have been an overall improvement since last year.

He said: "Safety standards are improving, mortality rates are falling, the variation between the best and the worst is getting less."

'Room for improvement'

The report said East Kent Hospitals had performed consistently well across all criteria and had succeeded in meeting the challenges of being one of the largest trusts in the country.

But chairman of East Kent Hospitals, Nick Wells, said there was no room for complacency.

He said: "We will look at not only the Dr Foster results that we have got that are being made available now but all our other performance data to identify those areas that we need to keep on improving."

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust runs the Buckland Hospital in Dover, the Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury, the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, the Royal Victoria Hospital in Folkestone and the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS runs the Maidstone Hospital in Maidstone, the Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells and the Pembury Hospital at Pembury.

In Pembury, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS is currently building a new £226m, 512-bed hospital where every inpatient will have their own room with en-suite facilities.

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