Ceredigion AM and Plaid Cymru shadow health Minister Elin Jones has expressed serious concerns about mortality rates in Welsh hospitals.

Figures out late on Friday, 21 March show persistently higher than expected mortality rates for Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, as well as Neath Port Talbot Hospital.

‘RAMI’ statistics have long been used to measure the performance of hospitals, with each hospital being given an expected mortality rate based upon a number of factors such as the types of procedures carried out.

Figures for Glangwili Hospital show that the new ‘Welsh RAMI’ mortality index – designed to be more comparable with England – is persistently higher than the baseline figure of 100.

These figures have been published on the ‘mylocalhealthservice’ website, which is based on Plaid Cymru’s proposal for the regular publication of hospital performance information.

Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion, said,

“These are persistently high mortality rates at Carmarthen and are cause for serious concern. There has to be an urgent and forensic investigation as to why this is the case.

“While RAMI figures don’t tell the whole story, rates above 100 should act as ‘fire alarms’ for administrators.

“The Welsh RAMI figures for Glangwili Hospital have been consistently between 115 and 120 for the 12 months prior to September 2013. Whereas at Bronglais, the figures for the same period were consistently below 100, and below 80 for several months in 2013.

“In the case of the Hywel Dda area, these figures should also give rise to serious questions concerning the Health Board’s seeming rush to centralise services such as cardiac care and maternity away from Bronglais and Withybush to Glangwili. This risks placing further strain on the hospital at Carmarthen, and increasing transfer times for patients from mid Wales and Pembrokeshire.

“I welcome the investigation that the Health Minister has established, which will include Glangwili. It is essential that he makes an early report to the communities that are served by these hospitals, and the wider population, on the findings of this investigation, and to outline the action that he will be taking to rectify the problems.”