Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Creating transparency in UK adult cardiac surgery data
  1. Stuart W Grant1,
  2. Graeme L Hickey2,
  3. Rebecca Cosgriff3,
  4. Graham Cooper4,
  5. John Deanfield3,
  6. James Roxburgh5,
  7. Ben Bridgewater1,2,3
  1. 1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester, UK
  2. 2University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, The Northwest Institute for BioHealth Informatics, Manchester, UK
  3. 3University College London, National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research, The Institute of Cardiovascular Science, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK
  5. 5Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ben Bridgewater, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University Hospital of South Manchester, Southmoor Road, Manchester M23 9LT, UK; ben.bridgewater{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Brief summary

Cardiac surgeons in the UK have openly published their outcome data at hospital and individual surgeon levels since 2005. Publication of these data has been associated with a decreased risk of inhospital mortality following cardiac surgery despite more high risk patients undergoing surgery. Cardiac surgeons in the UK have now developed a series of different tools with the aim of further improving transparency, facilitating access to clinical data and driving quality improvement. These tools make contemporary high quality data from the National Adult Cardiac Surgery Audit (NACSA) database available to various different interest groups. This article describes the tools that have been developed and details how they can be accessed.

The National Health Service (NHS) commissioning Board has recently announced that results for 10 specialties will be published at an individual team level by Summer 2013.1 The public inquiry into the events at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has also recommended that clinical outcomes should be published more widely to assure the quality of healthcare services and help prevent further failures of clinical governance.2 UK cardiac surgeons first published their results in 2005 following a request by the Guardian newspaper under the newly introduced Freedom of Information Act.3 Following on from this, the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland (SCTS) has continued to conduct governance analyses and publish results at hospital and individual surgeon levels. This was done initially in conjunction with the Care Quality Commission but more recently results have been published on the SCTS website (

The outcomes published in the public domain are based on an analysis of ‘all’ cardiac surgery over a 3-year window of …

View Full Text


  • Correction notice Since this article was published online the Blue Book Online web address has been updated.

  • Contributors The manuscript was prepared by SWG, GLH, RC and BB with contributions from all authors. SWG, GLH and BB were involved in cleaning and analysing the SCTS database for research and governance purposes. All authors have contributed to the development of the tools described in the article. BB is the guarantor.

  • Funding This work was supported by Heart Research UK grant number RG2583.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.