Publishing League Tables Could Stop Surgeons Taking on High-Risk Procedures

14th August 2014

Stephen Westaby, a consultant cardiac surgeon at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, says that plans to release death rate lists could result in consultants putting more focus on their own reputations rather than the needs of patients, and could see more doctors turning away difficult cases from fear of damaging their name.

The government is trying to work towards a more transparent NHS and this is one way that they seek to do so. The league tables aim to give patients more information into the performance rate of each surgeon so that they can see which ones are outperforming their peers.

If they are published, patients will be able to see the number of times a surgeon has carried out a procedure, their death rates and whether they are performing as expected.

Stephen Westaby, however, believes that publishing these lists does not improve patient choice or the competency of surgeons but just records a death under a doctor, instead of seeking to understand the cause of the mortality.

From a patients’ point of view, publishing this data could provide reassurance for those who have to undergo more complicated procedures. By being able to see how many times the surgeon has completed the procedure and their success rate, patients are offered piece of mind to know that they are in experienced hands.

Patients may not feel comfortable being operated on by those surgeons who have little or no experience in a particular procedure – especially procedures with higher perceived risks – and if there is the option to choose a more skilled doctor, shouldn’t they be entitled to this information?

What are your thoughts on this subject? We’d love to hear your views on either Facebook or Twitter.

Categories
Archives

Further Reading…

And the winner (hopefully) is…

17th March 2017

This week we were delighted to learn that we have been shortlisted for two separate awards, Personal Injury Team of the Year at the Solicitors Journal Awards 2017 and Best…

Looking to make a claim?

Get in touch now to start your journey

Talk to us now on

03300 080 321

  • Top Ranked Leading Individual - Chambers UK 2016
  • The Sunday Times Top 100 - Best Companies To Work For 2016
  • The Lawyer UK200 - Listed Firm 2015
  • The Law Society - Clinical Negligence
  • The Legal 500 - Leading Firm 2015
  • The Investors In People Awards 2016 - Winner
  • Lexcel - Excellence in Legal Practice Management and Client Care
  • IIP - Investors in People
  • sia - Spinal Injuries Association
  • MASS - Motor Accident Solicitors Society
  • Apil - Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Headway - The Brain Injury Association
  • avma - Action Against Medical Accidents
  • Backup Trust - Transforming Lives After Spinal Cord Injury
  • Child Brain Injury Trust