Publication of Consultant Treatment Outcomes
NHS England has begun the staged publication of mortality rates
for individual hospital consultants in ten specialties, a major
breakthrough in NHS transparency.
This leads a push to give patients more information about their
treatment, helping the NHS drive up and maintain the quality of
The data - covering around 3,500 consultants can be seen on the
NHS Choices website. http://www.nhs.uk/consultantdata
The data will initially be refreshed each year and
publishing of data in this way will be mandatory from next
Working as a Team
It is important to remember that the consultant surgeons
and physicians whose mortality rates are included on this site work
as part of a larger clinical team; consisting of anaesthetists,
junior medical staff, nurses, pharmacists, and
physiotherapists. All of these team members may affect
patient outcomes, along with a hospital's facilities. To find
out more about our consultants go to the homepage
and look under: Find our Services and Consultants via
Being Open and Honest
Our organisation promotes an open and honest culture that
empowers staff to speak-up about concerns. We are
determined to put things right when they have gone wrong and
our priority is to maintain and improve quality of care for
all our patients.
Further Information (from NHS England)
How can I use the data?
The information published so far includes how many times each
participating consultant has performed certain procedures and what
their mortality rate is for those procedures. You can see whether
or not the data for each consultant is within or outside the
expected range. Consultants who fall outside the expected range are
sometimes referred to as 'outliers'.
You can use this data to decide which consultant to choose
for your care. However, there are some important issues to bear in
mind when looking at the data.
For instance, the vast majority of the data has been through a
process known as 'risk adjustment'. This is a way of accounting for
the different mix of patients operated on by a particular
consultant's team. Using risk adjustment, outcomes are calculated
as if all consultants operated on the 'average' patient. This means
that consultants who take on particularly poorly, high-risk
patients or carry out the most complicated procedures don't appear
to have an unfairly high mortality rate.
However, not all the data can be 'averaged out' in this way.
Specific reasons for this are outlined in the introductory text for
each set of results. Where risk-adjusted data is not available,
actual (also called 'crude') clinical outcomes are shown. If the
data is not risk-adjusted, a consultant may have a higher mortality
rate simply because he or she takes on more difficult cases.
If you have questions or concerns having viewed specific
results, please discuss these with your GP or consultant.
What will the NHS do where consultants have high mortality
Any hospital or consultant identified as an outlier will be
investigated and action taken to improve data quality and/or
When will data be available for other procedures and
The results published to date were selected
because relevant data was already being collected for these
procedures and specialties. It is likely the programme will be
extended from 2014 when data for other conditions can be collected
and analysed in a similar way.
Where does the data come from?
The data comes from national clinical audits which continuously
review medical practice to check that it is safe and seek ways to
improve it. These audits are managed by 'audit providers' (usually
academic institutions such as a university or royal college) which
work with the specialist association. A specialist association is
an independent, membership organisation, which represents a
particular medical specialty.