The 11 NHS trusts with excess deaths across England

Named and shamed: The 11 NHS trusts where 3,600 more patients died than expected as figures for excess deaths across England are released (So is your local body one of them?)

  • NHS Digital collected figures from all 130 hospital trusts across all of 2018
  • Four of the offending trusts were also named and shamed in a report last year 
  • One of them has even been on the worst offending list every year since 2011

More patients are dying than expected at eleven NHS trusts across England, official statistics revealed today. 

NHS Digital, which released the report, collected figures from all 130 hospital trusts between January and December last year.

Data showed around 3,600 more patients died than predicted after spending time in hospitals ran by the 11 trusts. 

The NHS argues the statistics are only a ‘smoke alarm’. However, four of the trusts were also named and shamed last year.

One of them – Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – has been on the worst offending list every year since 2011.

Data showed around 3,600 more patients died than predicted after spending time in hospitals ran by the 11 trusts

Blackpool Victoria Hospital, ran by the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS FT, has been flagged up for having excess deaths every year since 2014

Officials collect the data using a statistical model to highlight the gulf in deaths between trusts.

A similar process helped uncover poor care at the Mid Staffordshire trust, one of the biggest scandals to ever hit the NHS. 

There were around 9.2million discharges, from which there were 293,000 recorded deaths either while in hospital or within 30 days of discharge.


  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  
  • East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust 
  • The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust 
  • The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
  • The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust 
  • Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

FT stands for Foundation Trust

This includes deaths from other causes as well as deaths related to the reason for the hospital admission, NHS Digital says. 

The NHS states it is ‘inappropriate’ for trusts to be ranked on their SHMI, and that an excess death count only warrants the need for further investigations.

Some 103 trusts reported no excess deaths, and 16 of them even reported a lower number of fatalities than expected.  

The data shows slightly less than a twelfth, or 8.5 per cent, of NHS trusts reported higher than expected deaths. 

However, the overall figure is lower than last year, when 9.7 per cent of trusts showed higher than expected deaths.  

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS FT, which runs one large hospital and two smaller ones, serves around 330,000 people. 

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Dorset County Hospital NHS FT all also appeared last year.

NHS Digital releases its Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator, or SHMI, data every summer for the previous year.

Chiefs warn the data is only a ‘smoke alarm’ and only warrants the need for further investigations to examine the cause of the excess deaths

But renowned experts have previously warned about the statistical method used to collate the figures and label the trusts with excess deaths.

The NHS does not use the internationally recognised system, recommended by the Association of Public Health Observatories, called Byar’s confidence intervals.

Instead, it uses another method, called overdispersion, which gives trusts slightly more leeway in terms of recording deaths.

Under that system, a trust is regarded as having a higher than expected number of deaths only if its SHMI is about 12 per cent or more above the national average.

In contrast, the Byar’s method is much stricter, classing anything with a SHMI of more than six or seven per cent above the national average as significantly high.

Expected deaths at each trust is worked out by calculating how many deaths the trust would have, according to national average death rates.

The death rate is then calculated by dividing the actual deaths following time in hospital by the expected deaths for the time in hospital.

MailOnline has approached Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS FT and NHS England for comment.


A disputed estimate suggested that hundreds of people may have needlessly died at Stafford Hospital, ran by Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust, due to poor care between 2005 and 2009.

In what is one of the worst care scandals in living memory, anecdotes provided by Julie Bailey, who was responsible for exposing neglect at the hospital, suggested patients were left lying in their own excrement and had been so thirsty that they were reduced to drinking water from vases.

The Francis report, the inquiry into the hospital’s workings in 2013, found that box ticking bureaucrats prioritised targets over basic levels of care. 

But not a single individual will be prosecuted in connection with the scandal, police admitted last year – despite a three-year investigation.

Stafford Hospital has been renamed County Hospital, and is now run by a different trust. 

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