The publication of outcomes for consultant surgeons complements our previous work in publishing clinical audit findings by NHS trust and informing patients about the standard of care that they can expect to receive.
Postoperative mortality is a fundamental aspect of care and a reflection of the safety of the procedure which is influenced by a combination of factors including the preparation for surgery, the actual operation and the recovery process. But publishing mortality at a consultant-level represents only a first step. In the future, we expect to report on a wider set of outcomes for patients.
The reporting of clinical outcomes is only as good as the data that is submitted to the audit. It is the responsibility of each NHS trust and consultant to make sure that all relevant data is submitted in time, so that the reporting of consultant outcomes appropriately reflect the practice of individual surgeons.
In order to improve data quality further, we encourage all surgeons:
- To make sure all their patients are entered into the Audit
- To submit surgical records for all patients with oesophageal or stomach cancer
- To ensure the data items have been completed when submitted, including treatment intent, and patient characteristics
- To record all details of the patient’s co-existing medical conditions and other perioperative treatments (eg, chemotherapy)
- To check that the uploaded data reflects their practice