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Publication, Part of

Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) - Deaths associated with hospitalisation, England, April 2010 - March 2011, Experimental statistics

Experimental statistics, Official statistics, Open data
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
NHS Trusts
Date Range:
01 Apr 2010 to 31 Mar 2011


This publication of the SHMI relates to discharges in the reporting period April 2010 to March 2011.

Update (May 2012): SHMI figures for York Hospital Foundation Trust published October 2011

As a result of a submission error by York Hospital Foundation Trust (YHFT - provider code RCB), some of their data were not included in the analysis. This means that the SHMI figure published for YHFT in October 2011 will be incorrect, and is likely to be under-stated. Figures subsequently published in January 2012 and April 2012 have included the missing data and are not affected.

Please take note that the figures for the SHMI publication in October 2011 will not be revised as the national impact of the changes is very limited.

We have now published an additional document, HES SHMI data guidance, on the SHMI homepage in response to this incident. This guide was produced to help providers understand which HES extracts with the corresponding SUS/HES submission deadlines which will be used for the SHMI publications.

Update (December 2011): Publication of palliative care contextual indicators

To add some context to the interpretation of the SHMI we are publishing palliative care contextual indicators along with their specifications.

These indicators report on the proportion of all admitted patients who are coded as receiving palliative care and the proportion of all patient mortalities coded as palliative care across all non-specialist acute providers reported on by the SHMI.

This information will soon be published on the IC's indicator portal alongside the SHMI. In future, these contextual indicators will be published at the same time as the SHMI.

The IC welcomes feedback and comments on these contextual indicators.

This is the first publication of the SHMI. The SHMI is a ratio of the observed deaths in a trust over a period of time divided by the expected number given the characteristics of patients treated by that trust.

When it's published:

The SHMI is produced and published quarterly by the NHS IC. Production and publication of the SHMI follows the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. The SHMI is being published as 'Experimental Statistics' which are new Official Statistics that are under going review. Like all indicators managed by the NHS IC, the SHMI will be subject to continuous review, using the Indicator Assurance Process. Outputs from these reviews will be reported to the National Quality Board, and will be available on the NHS IC's website.

How it's calculated:

The data used to calculate the SHMI is generated from data that Trusts have submitted to SUS (Secondary Uses Services). This data is then processed by the NHS IC to create HES data (Hospital Episode Statistics). Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) death registrations is linked to this HES data in order to capture deaths which occur outside hospitals. It is this linked dataset which is used to construct the SHMI.

We expect that the SHMI will need to be interpreted, understood and also reproduced, if necessary, by interested parties. Therefore, the NHS IC has published the specification that details the construction of the SHMI along with related methodological information and details of the development process.

How to use the SHMI:

The SHMI requires careful interpretation, and should not be taken in isolation as a headline figure of trust performance. It is best treated as a 'smoke alarm'. The SHMI is an indication of whether individual trusts are conforming to the national baseline of hospital-related mortality. Mortality within a trust is described as either 'as expected', 'lower than expected' or 'higher than expected'.

Trusts whose SHMI value is 'higher than expected' should follow-up - investigate to identify any underlying causes why this may be and action changes as appropriate. In addition, lessons could be learnt across the NHS from those trusts whose SHMI value is 'lower than expected'.

The SHMI value for each trust is plotted against the trust's expected number of deaths on 'funnel plots'. If the observed number of deaths falls outside of an expected range the Trust in question will be considered to have a higher or lower SHMI than expected. The range, the extremes of which are called control limits, can be calculated in a variety of ways and are shown on the funnel plots. For the SHMI two options are presented: exact Poisson control limits at a 99.8% level and over dispersion control limits at a 95% level.

Who can use SHMI:

The SHMI can be used locally by individual hospital trusts to assess and investigate their mortality related outcomes. Regulators and commissioning organisations can also use the SHMI to investigate outcomes for Trusts under their jurisdiction. In all of these cases the SHMI should not be used in isolation but in conjunction with other indicators and information from other sources (patient feedback, staff surveys and other such material) that together form a holistic view of Trust outcomes and a fuller overview of how Trust processes are impacting on outcomes.

While the public and patients will be interested in the SHMI, is not intended primarily for use by patients or the public. Although this information is in the public domain it has not been specifically tailored to be easily accessible for a patient or public audience.

Key Facts

In the period from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011, there were

• 14 trusts whose SHMI value was 'higher than expected' under both methods and;

• 14 trusts whose SHMI value was 'lower than expected' under both methods


Related Links

Last edited: 10 August 2018 2:08 pm