DEATH rates at Southend Hospital are the lowest among Essex hospitals – but slightly above the national average.

The highest is recorded at Colchester at 1.16, Basildon is second highest at 1.12 and mid Essex is 1.10.

Southend and Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow each recorded 1.02. The national average is 1.

For the east of England region Cambridge recorded the lowest at 0.84.

The Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator is the ratio between the actual number of patients who die following treatment at the trust and the number that would be expected to die on the basis of average figures for the country as a whole.

Mortality rates form an important part following the Keogh review which looked at the hospitals nationwide with above normal death rates.

Southend has this year introduced a mortality review group to review all potentially avoidable deaths as soon as possible.

Chief executive Jacqueline Totterdell said: ”We are within normal confidence levels and it is coming down, but we still want to do better, “We have established the review board which are contacted about every death there are concerns about and what we can learn from a situation and put in place to prevent it.”