Mortality rates fall in Scottish hospitals

Hospital ward Image copyright SPL
Image caption There are fewer people dying within a month of admission to hospital

The number of people dying within a month of admission to hospital has fallen by 15.9% in the past seven years, according to NHS statistics.

The Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratios (HSMR) were calculated over the period between October - December 2007 and April - June 2014.

The Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) aims to reduce hospital mortality by 20% by December 2015.

Seven hospitals have already shown a reduction in excess of 20%.

'Forging ahead'

The NHS National Services Scotland report said these include Crosshouse Hospital near Kilmarnock, Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Queen Margaret Victoria Hospital in Dunfermline and Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

Also showing good improvements were The Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, Wishaw General Hospital and Western Isles Hospital.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "It is very welcome news that the number of people who are dying in hospital has fallen so dramatically - especially at a time when our NHS is treating more people than ever before.

"The drop in mortality rates across Scotland's hospitals is one area where Scotland is particularly forging ahead and it means that lives have and are being saved every day.

"Frontline staff should be rightly proud of what they have enabled our NHS to achieve."

Mixture of patients

Since 2007, there has been a reduction in HSMR in 30 of the 31 hospitals participating in the SPSP.

Only one hospital in Scotland exhibited an increasing trend in HSMR over time - the Golden Jubilee National Hospital.

The report said this was because it provides specialist services with a mixture of patients that differs substantially from the majority of other hospitals in Scotland.

The HSMR is based on all acute inpatient and day case patients and takes account of those who died within 30 days from admission.

This includes deaths that occurred in the community as well as those occurring in-hospital.

Deaths that occur in hospital may be inevitable because of the patient's condition.

However, there are some deaths that can be prevented by improving care and treatment or by avoiding harm.

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