New rules will force hospitals to publish operation survival rates by individual surgeons

  • @oliver_wright

Hospitals will be required to publish survival rates for operations by individual surgeons under plans to help patients to more effectively choose where they have their care.

Under new rules unveiled today by the independent NHS Commissioning Board – which from next year will run the health service – both public and private hospitals will have to report data covering survival rates and quality of care for ten specialties including cardiac, vascular and orthopaedic surgery.

The information will be broken down by consultant – and will also cover the performance of the junior doctors working under their guidance. It will begin being published by next summer.

The board hopes that the information will lead to the development of healthcare ‘apps’ to help provide patients with easy to use ways of judging where to have their operation, as part of its plan to improve healthcare across the NHS. The health service will also move to operating “seven days a week” with appointments and operation being made available at weekends.

Sir David Nicholson, the NHS Commissioning Board’s Chief Executive, said the ambition was to quantifiably improve care even at a time of budget cuts.

“There are big challenges – not least the financial backdrop – but we must be ambitious. We want to make the NHS the best customer service in the world by doing more to put patients in the driving seat,” he said.