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RCS statement on consent for publishing surgeon-level data

13 June 2013

All consultant surgeons performing procedures which are the subject of the national clinical audits in England have been asked to consent to having their data published and we are encouraging them to do so.

The surgical specialty associations are currently working with HQIP to gain consent from their members for publication this summer.

On the basis of legal advice taken by the NHS and HQIP, it has been indicated that consent has to be sought, and data for non-consenting surgeons cannot be published without breaching the Data Protection Act.

Later this year, it is expected that publication of surgeon-level data will be mandated by NHS England. We see this as a watershed moment for the profession and strongly urge surgeons to take part in this important initiative.

Surgeons will not be in a position to ‘hide’ any of their data. All consultants are subject to the investigation processes for their specialist society regardless of whether they choose not to consent to being individually identified. Each audit has a published process for acting on and escalating concerns.

 

For more information contact the Royal College of Surgeons press office on 0207 869 6047 / 6052 or email communications@rcseng.ac.uk