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Fall in hospital mortality

Published: 16 Feb 2016 10:00
Part of:

HSMR statistics published.

Hospital mortality rates are at their lowest level since records began, official statistics published today show.

Figures published today by ISD Scotland, the body responsible for health statistics, show that between July to September 2015 there was a 16.5 per cent decrease in Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) compared to the October to December period in 2007 when recording began.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

"It is encouraging to see that our commitment to patient safety across the health service is delivering such strong results, especially at a time when our NHS is treating more people, with more complex needs, than ever before.

"The 16.5 per cent drop in mortality rates shows the high standards in Scotland's NHS and is one of the reasons Scotland is emerging as a world-leader in delivering effective and safe care for patients.

"Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a national patient safety programme and is the only UK country publishing and driving improvement in our NHS through the use of mortality data in this way.

"We know the NHS is facing additional demands, especially over the winter period. However, staffing across the NHS is also now at a record high, with 8.4 per cent more employees since 2006, allowing us to give people the high quality health care they deserve. We are also investing more than ever before in health and social care, with a record budget of almost £13 billion."

Professor Jason Leitch, Clinical Director for NHS Scotland said:

"Our NHS is working to deliver the safest possible hospitals we can for Scotland, and today's figures show we are continuing in the right direction.

"The vast majority of the thousands of patients who come through Scotland's NHS every day are cared for safely and successfully by our hard working frontline staff. Across our NHS, these staff have put patient safety at the heart of everything they do. And this culture is helping the NHS to be open and honest where care falls short of what we expect, and ensure we learn the right lessons.

"However, there is always more we can do. Patient safety will always remain a top priority for NHS Scotland and we will continue to deliver safe, person-centred care to thousands of people across Scotland every day of the year."

Notes to editors

HSMR is used by hospitals participating in the Scottish Patient Safety Programme to monitor their progress against this aim over time.

HSMR is measured quarterly and is the ratio of the number of deaths in hospital within a given time period (observed deaths) to the number of deaths that might be predicted if the hospital had the same death rates as a reference population.

HSMR figures are available at: