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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-16735: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 17 May 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to recent figures, which suggest that the mortality rate in the NHS Orkney area is 5.4%, compared with the national average of 3.3%; what discussions it has had or plans with NHS Orkney regarding this, and what action can be taken to address the underlying causes.

Answered by: Shona Robison 5 June 2018

NHS Orkney’s crude mortality rate for this most recent quarter, October to December 2017, is higher than previous quarters. This latest data reflects winter months where due to an increased prevalence of conditions such as winter viruses and related conditions, it is recognised that mortality is higher, particularly in the elderly population.

The Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) takes into account the likelihood of mortality given the health and age of the patient population. It is therefore a better reflection of whether deaths are higher than expected. Since January to March 2014, NHS Orkney’s HSMR trend has shown a reduction of 22.3% compared to the Scotland average of 9.9%.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) will continue to monitor HSMR data for all NHS Boards including NHS Orkney. Should the HSMR and other sources of data and intelligence raise any concerns about the quality of care at NHS Orkney, then HIS will follow this up with the Board.