09 February 2009
The Royal College of Surgeons is delighted that the Department of Health has announced a national system of patient reported outcomes measurement (PROMS) for four common forms of surgery across the NHS.
The decision comes after the College proved, through a feasibility study and its Patient Outcomes In Surgery (POIS) audit, that large scale PROMS collection could work. The ongoing audit covers a third of NHS hospitals, all independent sector treatment centres and plans to include 30,000 patients. This audit is collecting information reported by patients about the outcomes of hip and knee replacements, inguinal hernia repair and varicose veins. The Department of Health has taken the methodology and questionnaires developed in these studies and will apply them across the NHS.
“This kind of follow up gives patients a strong voice in guiding how hospitals plan services and use the best techniques to get the best possible results,” said John Black, President of the Royal College of Surgeons. “Surgeons can tell you how they think an operation has gone, but what they need to know is how the patient feels about the whole outcome. This is invaluable in making sure we operate at the right time using the best techniques to get the best possible result. It is important that patient reporting is integrated with other outcome measurements and clinicians participate if we are to get an accurate picture.”
Under POIS, patients are asked questions about their health and quality of life before treatment and then again after recuperation. This information can then be added to clinical data about operations and to assess the quality of the surgical treatment and overall care they received. This combined information will help the NHS to identify areas of improvement and track whether new developments are producing results.
Notes to Editors
- The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. Registered charity number: 212808. For more information please visit www.rcseng.ac.uk.
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