Death rates in the NHS are significantly higher than six other developed countries, says Professor Sir Brian Jarman, an academic who helped expose the Stafford Hospital Scandal.

According to Sir Brian’s figures, patients in English hospitals are 45% more likely to die than those in the US. The five other developed countries have not been named due to confidentiality conditions.

The data is based upon hospital standardised mortality rates (HSMR) which compare the actual number of deaths with the outcome that would have been expected, considering a patient’s age and illness.

Speaking about the findings, Sir Brian said: “you can’t say it’s a direct measure of quality of care but HSMR should be used as a trigger. These figures do show that if you look at the adjusted death rates in seven countries, we’re significantly higher [than the international average].”

He added that more than 220,000 patients die in English hospitals every year, many of whom could have been saved if care matched that in other countries. The NHS compared particularly badly on conditions usually suffered by the elderly, with pneumonia and septicaemia respectively 46% and 27% higher than the international average.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “this is another warning sign for the NHS. We can’t ignore data like this that gives us a clear message that there are deficiencies in the system. It’s yet another wake up call for the NHS that there are huge areas that need improvement. It’s worrying for patients.”

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