Death rate rise in Newark district sparks fresh healthcare fears
7:30am Thu Apr 23, 2015
Death rates for patients in the Newark district are rising faster than for those from other areas, prompting concerns over healthcare provision.
Figures reveal the proportion of patients from postcodes NG22, NG23, NG24 and NG25 classed as emergency admissions who die within 30 days of being admitted to hospital is going up.

The figures were obtained by the Say Yes to Newark Hospital campaign group after Freedom of Information requests to the three hospital trusts that take Newark area patients.

The hospitals covered are Newark; King’s Mill at Sutton-in-Ashfield; Nottingham City; Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham; Grantham; and Lincoln County, where most patients from NG22-NG25 are admitted.

The hospitals are run by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust; and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

All figures relate to patients who died within 30 days of being admitted as emergencies to the hospitals.

According to the figures 3.7% (813 of 21,998) of emergency patients from NG22-NG25 died from 2008-10.

From 2011-13, 5.37% (1,246 of 23,200) NG22-NG25 emergency patients died.

From 2012-14 it was 6.57% (1,539 of 23,441).

The rise in deaths of emergency patients from other postcodes at the hospitals has been more gradual.

From 2008-10 it was 5.07% (20,950 of 413,438); in 2011-13 it was 5.31% (22,738 of 428,333) and in 2012-14 it was 6.05% (25,556 of 422,107).

Newark and Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group said overall mortalities, in and out of hospital, had decreased and deaths in Newark and Sherwood were below the national average and lower than in other parts of Nottinghamshire.

Mr Paul Baggaley, secretary of the campaign group, said: “Two years ago, after submitting a Freedom of Information request for mortality rate data we demonstrated that mortalities had increased in Newark and Sherwood following the implementation of the Newark Healthcare Review and the downgrading of Newark Hospital.

“We have repeated the exercise and found that mortalities have continued to rise.

“These findings are consistent with data from other sources and indicative of a healthcare service that is under increasing pressure.

“The people who are responsible for these failings are the clinical commissioning groups who have failed to commission the right service, a service that treats everyone fairly and equally.”

Dr Amanda Sullivan, chief officer of Newark and Sherwood CCG, said: “The figures obtained reflect patients who were admitted with a range of different conditions including acutely very ill people who needed specialist treatment in a major centre.

“Overall, mortality, in and out of hospital, has actually decreased over the same period and this was verified by an independent review commissioned in 2013.

“Deaths of under 65s have reduced by 15% between 2007-2010 and 2011-2013 whilst increasing by 4% in those aged 85 and above.

“Overall, deaths in Newark and Sherwood are below the national average and lower than in other parts of Nottinghamshire. It is also important to recognise that the case mix of people admitted to hospital is changing and less seriously ill patients are increasingly cared for at home.”

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