Surgeons' success rates published1st February 2008
Bernard Ribeiro, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, has said the country's 6,000 surgeons should "be more open about what they do and accept assessment of the outcomes of their operations".
Mr Ribeiro said if patients were able to look up a surgeon's performance before an operation it would enable them to choose where they wanted to receive treatment. Patients in Britain are currently only able to check performance data for heart surgery operations.
"Ultimately, our aim is that data on all surgical procedures should be available...we want to provide information for patients. It will bring much more sophisticated choice," he said.
Cardiac operation data has been published since 2004. It has revealed the best-rated and worst-rated NHS trusts have a "six-fold difference" in their figures.
Mr Ribeiro stated that performance figures allowed patients to check safety records. He added that patients should be allowed to make a journey to see a surgeon who offered a high standard of treatment, rather than being seen locally "for convenience."
The Department of Health are preparing to start collecting data from 250,000 patients annually, in order to gauge success rates for hip and knee replacements, hernia and varicose vein repair operations.
The questionnaires are being managed by the Royal College of Surgeons and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The Royal College will also perform an independent assessment of 10% of the procedures.
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