In a step towards greater openness with health information, death rates for patients undergoing major surgery at NHS hospital trusts in England have been published for the first time.
NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh said the move would be followed by a release of information on different procedures in the months to come.
It is the first time anywhere in the world that a government has exposed the mortality rates of different surgical teams to scrutiny in this way.
Sir Bruce welcomed the fact that no trusts fell below the expected standard for mortality on any of the four procedures in question: hip replacements, knee replacements and emergency or elective operations on abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) – one of the most common serious heart problems in the UK.
And he hailed the performance of a handful of trusts where survival rates were better than the expected range.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals Trust, University Hospitals of Leicester Trust and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust did well in elective AAA repair; Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust was praised for its emergency AAA repair and East Kent Hospitals Trust for its knee replacements.
Information published on the NHS Choices website shows that the survival rate at the vast majority of hospitals in England was “within the expected range” on all four measures.
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