1. ITV Report

Hospital 'fire alarm' over above-expected death rates

11 out of 17 Welsh general hospitals have higher death rates than should be expected.

The figures were published today by the Welsh Government.

Officials say the information should be considered as a "fire alarm", rather than conclusive proof of a major problem.

The Welsh MP who is leading a review of how the NHS in England handles complaints has told ITV News Cymru Wales that she has been invited to meet the new Health Minister in Wales, Mark Drakeford.

Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd said he wrote to her as soon as he was appointed, last week, and has promised to discuss with her more than 2,000 emails and letters she has had regarding complaints.

Ann Clwyd revealed that she will meet Wales' new Health Minister.

Her review follows the scandal over neglect and abuse of patients at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

She has previously criticised the care received by her dying husband at the University Hospital of Wales.

The data released today compares the number of deaths at a hospital with the number expected - which is influenced by factors like average age and deprivation.

The Risk Adjusted Mortality Index (RAMI) is calculated as the ratio of the actual number of deaths in a hospital, compared to the expected number of deaths.

The baseline is set at 100 - so anything above that means a higher than expected death rate, and anything below it means a lower than expected death rate.

Here are the figures for Wales' district general hospitals, for October 2011 to September 2012:

  • University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff - 128
  • Llandough, Penarth - 86
  • Prince Charles, Merthyr Tydfil - 102
  • Royal Glamorgan, Llantrisant - 119
  • Royal Gwent, Newport - 117
  • Nevil Hall, Abergavenny - 86
  • Morriston, Swansea - 102
  • Singleton, Swansea - 102
  • Neath Port Talbot, Port Talbot - 102
  • Princess of Wales, Bridgend - 102
  • Bronglais, Aberystwyth - 95
  • Glangwili, Carmarthen - 95
  • Prince Philip, Llanelli - 89
  • Withybush, Haverfordwest - 97
  • Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor - 108
  • Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan - 103
  • Wrexham Maelor, Wrexham - 117

The Welsh Government is committed to transparency on performance and to improving access to NHS information. As from today, anyone in Wales can view a measure of hospital mortality.

The data published today add to a range of information available to help us assess the quality of our care.

However, while it provides useful information, it should not be viewed in isolation as a measure of the quality of hospital care. We must use this information to drive up the quality of our care.

– Mark Drakeford, Health Minister