HOSPITAL chiefs have rejected calls for an inquiry into mortality rates at Dewsbury District Hospital.
They claim the death rates are below average, despite claims from a health expert that they and 24 other trusts should be inspected.
Prof Brian Jarman, emeritus professor at London's Imperial College School of Medicine, said he had identified a number of NHS trusts in England with a higher than expected Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR).
He argued that, when combined with other factors, a high HSMR can indicate broader problems with patient care.
But the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Dewsbury District Hospital, insisted it did not recognise the results of the Jarman report as it did not accurately reflect the true position.
Chief executive Julia Squire said: “Local people should be assured that The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has mortality rates which are well below average.
“The report referred to was published last year. It recalculated mortality rates retrospectively, making Mid Yorkshire’s rates appear higher in 2007/08 than were reported at the time. At the time they were comparable with the national average.
“The new higher rates published in 2009 were calculated on the same number of patients who died in our hospitals in 2007/08.
“Prof Jarman’s report is raising questions about regulation, which have already been addressed.
“Inspections by healthcare regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), are unannounced and in our experience very thorough.
“The new CQC registration requirements for healthcare providers are tough and rigorous and we have had unconditional registration approved.
“We do not have high mortality rates at our Trust.
“Our latest results for 2009/10 (April to September) show our mortality rate to be 93.7, which is significantly below the national expected average of 100 and we won’t be satisfied until our rates compare well with the best in the country.”
The Dewsbury hospital is also at the centre of another patient care case.
A coroner said the death of 50-year-old John Wynn, of Pontefract, from a punctured artery suffered at Dewsbury and District Hospital, could have been avoided if he had undergone emergency surgery more quickly.
His family is now urging the Yorkshire hospital to learn from its mistakes and ensure the necessary steps are taken to prevent further tragedies.
Mr Wynn underwent surgery by Mr Abdul Basheer but it was later found that a chest drain had eroded his aorta.