The risk of dying in a hospital: The postcode lottery you won’t face in this already more equal Scotland

In terms of the risk of dying in a hospital, Scotland’s hospitals are, year-after-year, reassuringly the same, across the country. Based on previous year’s mortality-rate a predicted rate is set. If there are the same number of deaths as anticipated the ratio is 1, the blue line. If there are significantly more or less than anticipated, warnings are triggered, the amber and red lines.

The actual mortality rate is then plotted for each hospital on the graph, a ‘funnel’ plot or chart.

The shape of the chart can confuse.

The very small hospitals are to the extreme left where it is wide because with a very small, often zero, mortality-rate, one or two deaths, which can happen some years, would trigger a warning which was not really warranted. That’s the Arran Memorial near the 0.5 ratio because it had zero deaths in 2021/2022.

The big hospitals are to the right. Glasgow’s QEUH is the dot to the far right and is, contrary to opposition claims, doing better than predicted with 2 868 deaths against a predicted figure of 3 176.

Factcheck: There is NO postcode lottery in Scotland’s hospitals. Healthcare, in this most critical sense, is equal, almost uniform.

After 12 years of Conservative governments, the situation in England is quite different.

Look at this graph for the same period:

Every picture tells a story? You don’t need to have advanced maths to get this.

Loook at the scattering

Now, I know the scaling is different leading to an immediate, ah but, but.

Scotland’s worst-performing, in this sense is the Royal in Edinburgh with a ratio of 1.07, 130 more deaths than predicted and just touching the amber. All of the others have a lower ratio.

England , with 10 times the population has 32 hospitals at 1.07 or above and 11 at above 1.1.

That 0.04 difference matters.

The ‘worst’, Norfolk and Norwich UH, at 1.19 with 2 570 predicted but 3080 taking place, had 510 more deaths than it should have had.

Remember this when you next hear of a postcode lottery in NHS Scotland

Footnote: There aren’t any in NHS England with a better mortality ratio than the Royal in Edinburgh. If you want better chances, you’ll need to pay for it.


2 thoughts on “The risk of dying in a hospital: The postcode lottery you won’t face in this already more equal Scotland

  1. Graphs like those above are an eye-opener – for those who choose to get their misinformation from the unionist media
    ( yes , we mean you Sarwar and co. )
    – but they won’t let THE FACTS distract them from their main purpose – attacking the SG , second in importance to picking up their nice little earner of a pay packet from Holyrood !


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