Is Relative Risk a factor in High Weekend Mortality?
19 July 2012
Yesterday (18th July 2012) there was an interesting social media exchange about one aspect of the original Doctor Foster 2011 report. The latter report was covered in the BMJ: http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d7791. Doctor Foster published an interesting set of data: http://www.drfosterhealth.co.uk/docs/StaffingFiguresHG2011V1.7.xls.
If the Weekend Emergency Mortality columns are re-sorted with RR (Relative Risk) running from highest to lowest, it seems clear to me that the highest mortality is linked to highest RR and the lowest mortality with lowest RR. All the High Mortality band entries are with higher than 113.6RR and all the low mortality entries at the bottom end of RR. The nine highest mortality entries align with the nine highest RR. The 15 highest mortalities are in the section with the 19 highest RR.
I'm not suggesting that there isn't something to be learned by comparing staffing levels with mortality - though there is disagreement between medical professionals. I'm not one of the latter and don't have the experience to comment.
May I suggest though that perhaps there's a message in the Doctor Foster report that high Relative Risk catchments may be a factor leading to high weekend mortality and perhaps measures need to be introduced to improve support for the populations identified at higher risk? I will apologise if this has already been suggested here in the BMJ or elsewhere.
Competing interests: None declared
None, Cardiff CF11 6LF
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