A report from the National Office for Clinical Audit has found that there has been a significant reduction in deaths in hospital due to heart attack in recent years.
NOCA’s report looked at deaths in 44 hospitals due to heart attack, heart failure, strokes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and bronchiectasis.
There was a significant reduction in deaths per 100 admissions due to heart attack, from 11.1 deaths in 2005 to 5.9 in 2015.
For heart failure and ischaemic stroke, there was a small but significant reduction in deaths.
There was almost no change for haemorrhagic stroke and COPD & bronchiectasis.
A haemorrhagic stroke is where an artery supplying blood to the brain bursts.
An ischaemic stroke is where there is a blockage of an artery supplying the brain with blood.
Bronchiectasis means a permanent enlargement of the airways of the lung.
The study looked at public hospitals, not including maternity hospitals.
Patients who only attended the emergency department are not included, just those admitted to a ward.
The authors say the report cannot be used to compare hospitals to one another, as no two are the same, as they have very different case mix or patient profiles.
The report says that people die every day and people with severe illness die in hospitals.
Most deaths that occur in hospital are inevitable because of the severity of illness.
The report says it is important that hospitals monitor their death rates.
It helps to show if a hospital's mortality level for a diagnosis is outside the expected range, meaning that more patients died than expected.