More about this data
The data presented here shows results for operations and treatments performed by individual consultants for a range of specialty areas.
The outcome results will vary depending on the specialty area and the chosen methodology and indicators, but you’ll be able to see how many times a consultant has performed particular procedures and the mortality rates for those procedures. You can see whether or not the data for each consultant is within the expected range, based on the national average. Consultants who fall outside the expected range are sometimes referred to as ‘outliers’.
The data is based on national clinical audits, which continuously review medical practice.
Ten specialties were initially selected in 2013 because they were already covered by an audit that collected relevant data for the procedures, which provided data of a very high standard. In the second round of publications two further specialties have been included; lung cancer and neurosurgery.
Each specialty has decided which procedures to include, and what measure of mortality to show, based upon what is most relevant to their patients and what and how data is collected.
An outlier is a consultant whose clinical outcomes data lies outside of the national average. This is not always a sign of poor performance. For example, a consultant taking on difficult cases which have on average a higher mortality rate is expected to be an outlier.
Where someone is an outlier, it is common practice that the results are reinvestigated to understand any issues and how to deal with them.
Where data is not available
In some instances data will not be available for the performance of a consultant. This may be because:
- Data on the procedures that the consultant carries out for that specialty may not be collected by the national clinical audit.
- The consultant may not have carried out enough procedures to be included in the analysis.
- For clinical outcomes data to be reliable, it must be based on enough procedures. Consultants who have not submitted enough procedures to the audit are not included.
- A doctor might have carried out low numbers of procedures as a responsible consultant if they only became a consultant towards the end of the analysis period, or if they stopped practising the procedures listed part way through the analysis period.
- The consultant may have retired or stopped carrying out the procedures on which data are published.
- The consultant may practise outside England. Data applies only to England, although some data for Scotland and Wales has been made available in some specialties.