Jeremy Hunt: Doctors who refuse to publish performance data will be named and shamed

 

Doctors who decide not to disclose details of their performance will be “named and shamed” by the Government, it has emerged.

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said there was "no valid reason" why consultants should not make their figures available.

It is understood Mr Hunt has asked officials to draw up plans to publish the death rates of NHS doctors as early as next month, and subject to legal requirements, he wants every consultant to be "obliged" to disclose the details.

Those that refuse will be named.

Mr Hunt said: "Subject to proper risk adjustment of the data there can be no valid reason why it should not be published - and the majority of consultants strongly support the case for doing so.

"In an era of public concern over patient safety issues at Mid Staffordshire Hospital, this will be a major step forward in restoring public confidence."

The Health Secretary made the comments after it was reported doctors would be given the opportunity to opt out of the new league tables which assess their performance.

The tables - central to Government plans for a more transparent NHS - aim to show patients how well consultant-led surgical teams in hospitals across England are performing against each other.

The move, announced under the NHS Mandate, aims to "shine a light on variation and unacceptable practice".

But it emerged that doctors could be able to refuse to disclose the details under data protection laws - an option which medical officials say is based on legal advice.

A Royal College of Surgeons spokesman confirmed doctors would need to consent to the figures being published later this year, but said early feedback suggested few would opt out.

The spokesman said: "We don't have firm figures yet but the early indications are that the numbers consenting to this are very high.

"There is no attempt to hide poor performance."

The spokesman added: "All consultant surgeons performing procedures which are the subject of the national clinical audits in England have been asked to consent to having their data published and we are encouraging them to do so.

"The surgical specialty associations are currently working with HQIP (Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership) to gain consent from their members for publication this summer.

"On the basis of legal advice taken by the NHS and HQIP, it has been indicated that consent has to be sought, and data for non-consenting surgeons cannot be published without breaching the Data Protection Act.

"Later this year, it is expected that publication of surgeon-level data will be mandated by NHS England. We see this as a watershed moment for the profession and strongly urge surgeons to take part in this important initiative."

An NHS England spokesman said there was a lot of support for the tables among consultants, with around 96% of respondents opting in to the publication.

"We urge all consultants to think very carefully about the effect on their patients and their colleagues if they choose to opt out on the basis of legislation designed to protect personal data," the spokesman said.

"The publication of consultant-level data for 10 surgical specialties heralds a new level of openness, but there is some way to go before the NHS is as transparent as it should be."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "Patients should be able to see how individual senior doctors are performing. That principle has been agreed for many years and has been successfully implemented in cardiac surgery."

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council, said: "We expect doctors to put their patients first. We're living in an increasingly transparent age where doctors are expected to be open about their practice.

"We would encourage all doctors to be as open and public as possible with information about the care they provide.

"All doctors are now subject to annual appraisals - we would expect surgeons who do not join a national scheme such as this to be prepared to discuss their decision as part of that process."

PA

News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Dominique Alderweireld, also known as Dodo de Saumure, is the owner of a string of brothels in Belgium
newsPhilip Sweeney gets the inside track on France's trial of the year
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 pictured in 2011.
musicBassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker say Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful'
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'
tvBroadchurch series 2, episode 4, review - contains spoilers
Sport
cyclingDisgraced cycling star says people will soon forgive his actions
News
Britain's Prince Philip attends a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran will play three sell-out gigs at Wembley Stadium in July
music
News
i100
News
Lena Dunham posing for an official portrait at Sundance 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Manager - R&D - Paint

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This growing successful busines...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Advisor - Automotive Parts

    £16400 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading online E-commerce ...

    Recruitment Genius: Automotive Parts Manager

    £27300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a leading...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Customer Service Advisor

    £22000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading boiler ...

    Day In a Page

    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea