Consultant Outcomes Publication

NHS England initiative sees Consultant Surgeons’ data published for 2014 – new specialities and indicators added on patient-friendly NHS Choices website

The NHS’s world-leading transparency drive takes another step forward today as the latest annual results for individual consultant surgeons are published (from 6am on Wednesday 19 November).

This year the NHS is bringing together in one place updated data for the 10 specialities covered in 2013, together with data for surgeons operating in three more speciality areas.

The data for 10 of the 13 specialities will be published in full with three more specialities being published in the coming weeks. Data for lung cancer, neurosurgery and urogynaecology has been added to the 10 specialities which published in 2013.

Results included in the Consultant Outcomes Publication (COP) are based on National Clinical Audit data.

Across all 13 specialties, the data will cover around 5,000 surgeons – up from around 4,000 last year – and show whether clinical outcomes for each consultant are within expected limits.

The overall results are expected to reassure patients, with mortality rates for almost all surgeons being within the expected range.

Additionally, as well as the mortality results which formed the basis of last year’s publication, a number of other useful outcome indicators have been added by many specialties, including length of hospital stay and readmission rates.

The data is published in a patient-friendly format on MyNHS, the dedicated transparency area within the NHS Choices website, where patients and professionals alike can compare the performance of their local hospital, their care services and their local authority in a simple format.

The data has been published today to mark the formal launch of the MyNHS site.

As in 2013, the website continues to contain key information with links to relevant specialist societies for more detailed information. In addition, users can now search the data in the same way they would a hospital on NHS Choices, such as by a consultant’s name, hospital or location.

The publication of outcomes data began in 2006 and was led by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s National Medical Director, who pioneered the scheme with publication of the mortality rates of cardiac surgeons.

Work to compile the data has again been led by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), which manages the National Clinical Audit programme on behalf of NHS England.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said: “This represents another major step forward on the transparency journey. It will help drive up standards, and we are committed to expanding publication into other areas.

“The results demonstrate that surgery in this country is as good as anywhere in the western world and, in some specialities, it is better. The surgical community in this country deserves a great deal of credit for being a world leader in this area.”

HQIP Outcomes Publication Director, Professor Ben Bridgewater, a practising cardiac surgeon, said: “By adding more specialties, more indicators and much greater functionality on NHS Choices, we are providing patients and relatives with a much fuller picture and greater reassurance about the care they are likely to receive. This is just one part of a broader information landscape, but a vital one.”

Sir Bruce and Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, have agreed that as part of extending the transparency programme and gaining a deeper understanding of cancer treatment throughout the country, next year NHS England will publish the one-year and five-year survival rates for individual hospitals for the four commonest cancers – lung, breast, bowel and prostate. These cancers account for 50 per cent of all cancers in England.