NHS publishes surgeon data

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NHS England has made available data on surgeons' performance with an increase in the number of surgeons in the data and surgeries covered.

The data has been expanded to include more than just mortality data and is available through the MyNHS website.

Mortality rates for almost all surgeons are within the expected range, other indicators included length of stay in hospital and readmission rates being included in the data.

A total of 5,000 surgeons are now covered in the data, compared to 4,000 last year across 13 specialities, with three specialities added this year for the first time.

The new specialities being included in the data are lung cancer, neurosurgery and urogynaecology, the publishing of data began in 2006 with the mortality rates of cardiac surgeons being published.

Other areas being covered by the data include adult cardiac surgery, bariatric surgery, colorectal surgery, head and neck surgery, interventional cardiology, orthopaedic surgery, thyroid and endocrine surgery, upper-gastro-intestinal surgery, urological surgery and vascular surgery.

The data covers procedures within specialities, chosen according to what is currently covered by audit, the frequency the surgery is performed and whether it is a good indicator of skill.

The Competition and Markets Authority called for transparency in statistics for the private sector.

Professor Alan Maynard argued for data allowing comparison of the performance of surgeons in the NHS and private sector. 

Clare Marx, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: "Patients and surgeons should have honest and open conversations about the likely outcome of their surgery and best treatment options available. Publishing consultant outcomes is just one step for ensuring that dialogue and trust is present.

"This is by no means a quick process. Year on year we will develop out methods for collecting and analysing data so that we are continually improving the quality of care and the outcomes we deliver for our patients."

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