SOUTHEND Hospital’s sepsis death rates is one of the highest in the country...but has started falling.

Of all the hospital trusts in the country, Southend rates the 12th worst with 795 deaths over the last six years, 99 more than would be expected - or 1.14 on the summary hospital level mortality indicator (SHMI).

The figures, from NHS Digital, show Southend at the wrong end of the table however figures have improved in recent years and the number of deaths is falling below what is “expected” after years of problems.

Neil Rothnie, medical director at Southend Hospital, said: “The latest data for April 2018 to March 2019 show that Southend Hospital has a SHMI of 1.07, continuing the downward trend we have seen since March 2018 and within the ‘as expected’ range.

“The data also show that our SHMI for septicaemia / shock is 0.87, a score which has reduced steadily over the past year and is now in the ‘lower than expected’ range.

“These scores reflect the hard work we have undertaken to implement an active programme for dealing with sepsis across the trust. We continue to monitor all deaths within the hospital through our mortality surveillance group.”

NHS Digital now releases its SHMI, data every month for the previous calendar year.

This month’s release shows some improvement at the trust in the number of patients dying from sepsis – a violent immune response to infection which can kill within hours if not treated early enough with antibiotics.

Figures for March 2018/19 show there were 120 deaths against an expected 140.

Over the six year period Basildon Hospital had 1,699 deaths against an expected mortality rate of 1,721 – 22 fewer deaths than expected.

Ron Daniels, the UK Sepsis Trust’s chief executive said: ‘It’s unacceptable for survival from sepsis to remain a postcode lottery.” Mr Rothnie is confident the figures will improve further.