The Manchester Evening News has reported that from Thursday 13th June 2013 statistics and ratings for surgeons at Wythenshawe Hospital will be available online.
The information will include a comparison with the National Average, the number of procedures that surgeon has undertaken and the patient will be able to leave their own feedback. The system developed by Wythenshawe Hospital Heart Surgeon Ben Bridgewater will begin with the profiles of approximately 25 Cardiologists and Cardiothoracic Surgeons from the University of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust website. The newspaper reports that all of the Trust’s 250 Consultants will be available online by the end of the year and that Stepping Hill Hospital, part of the Stockport NHS Foundation Trust could soon become the second hospital to introduce the scheme.
So far from the profession there has been a mixed response. Sir Donald Irvine, Former President of the General Medical Council is reported as having said “people have a right to know how good their doctors are and reviews of performance should take account of views and experience of other patients. This has the potential to revolutionise patient’s ability to choose their doctor, and it is a step that other hospital trusts would be wise to follow”.
However Deputy Chair of the British Medical Association Dr Kailash Chand has struck a warning cord saying “publishing data for individual consultants is quite complex. Some consultants may take on higher risk cases that would lead to raised mortality rates. Other patients will have multiple health problems which can increase the likelihood of complications”.
Whilst of course league tables can be quite a blunt tool providing patients and their families with more information about the clinicians and their teams in whom they place their trust can only be a good thing. As long as the information is managed properly. Perhaps with the expansion of such league tables an early warning system will be in place so that in the event surgeons and clinicians are failing there can be early intervention to prevent many patients experiencing unnecessary clinical negligence.
If you would like any without obligation advice or to speak about a potential clinical negligence claim please do contact Clinical Negligence Solicitor Laura Morgan on 0161 383 3619 or by email at LMorgan@slatergordon.co.uk.