DEATH rates at Sunderland Royal Hospital are among the lowest in the country.
That is according to the latest Dr Foster Good Hospital report which ranks 140 hospital trusts.
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust came 23rd in the survey, which uses four different sets of death rates data to rank each hospital.
The research team looked at patients with diagnoses that most commonly result in death, such as heart attacks, strokes or broken hips.
For each group of patients they can work out how often, on average, they survive their stay in hospital, and how often they die.
The findings for the hospital found in 2011/12 there were 91 deaths following surgery.
It also concluded there were 0.33 deaths per every 1,000 patients in low-risk conditions treated at the Royal, which was lower than expected.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust came 114th, with 107 deaths following treatment at South Tyneside District Hospital, seven more than the national average.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) ranked each of the trusts in the North East according to how they perform.
Glenn Turp, regional director of the RCN Northern Region, said: “Overall, there is a mixture of good and less good news here.
“We are obviously very pleased to see trusts like City Hospitals Sunderland performing well nationally, across a basket of measures.
“City Hospitals Sunderland are in the top 30 for three out of four of the death rate measures, and this is a fantastic result.
“It is obviously disappointing to see other trusts in our region have performed less well, and we need to look in more detail as to whether there are mitigating factors or explanations for this.
“However, there are some clear overall messages from this report.
“Firstly, as Dr Foster identifies, where community and acute care is properly resourced, outcomes tend to be better.”
The RCN also said poor staffing levels, inappropriate skills mix, as well as high occupancy levels and the recurrence of bed-blocking due to cuts in social service provision, is all starting to take its toll, and has also expressed concern about the “fragmentation of the NHS”.
Mr Turp added: “The RCN congratulates the hard work and dedication of the nursing teams at these trusts, who have played such an important part in delivering success and high quality outcomes for patients.”
A spokesman for City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have been one of the top-performing trusts in the country for many years and are delighted we have been able to maintain those standards in the face of considerable pressures.
“We now have some of the most modern five-star facilities in the NHS, some of the best trained staff and most dedicated trust teams in the north.
“There is always more to do, consistent pressures of extra patients, particularly at this time of year, and ongoing monitoring to ensure that our patients continue to receive the best care when and where they want it.”