A NATIONWIDE study by an independent research organisation has revealed Trafford General Hospital has the worst death rates for hospital patients in the country - but health chiefs insist they have taken steps to address this.

The report by Dr Fosters showed a high hospital standardised mortality ratio (HSMR) of 121 at Trafford General - meaning there were 21 per cent more deaths than expected in 2011/12.

But Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Trust - which took over the running of the hospital in April - says it has put in place an action plan and death rates have since fallen to ‘well within normal limits’.

The trust said in a statement: “The figures relate to the year 2011/12 when Trafford General Hospital was under the management of Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust. Our organisation took over the management on April 1 this year. In the first quarter since our taking over Trafford, the comparative number is an HSMR of 103, well within normal limits.

“A review of the previous year has been completed, and a number of non clinical factors which might explain some of the figures were identified and corrected.

“We have developed an action plan to ensure that better systems are in place to provide improved outcomes for patients."

These measures include: • Improvements to weekend medical cover.

• A review of medical handover procedures.

• Resuscitation analysis and putting in measures to ensure that standards at Trafford meet those of Central Manchester’s team.

• Implementation of an early warning score system.

A public consultation on controversial New Health Deal proposals to reorganise services at Trafford General, which include downgrading the A and E department, ended on October 31.

A decision on the proposals is due to be made next month.

The rate of patients dying at Wythenshawe Hospital was as expected, with a HSMR of 100.