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Government publishes operation death rates

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Data providing details of operation death rates has been published for the first time by the government.

The Department of Health hopes the figures published yesterday will help patients choose which hospital to visit when having operations.

Figures were released yesterday for death rates of four common operations on the NHS Choices website as part of the ‘hospital scorecard’.

They show wide variation in death rates from hospital to hospital.

Operations covered are elective and emergency abdominal aortic aneurysms, elective hip replacements and knee replacements.

Details of clinical outcomes from a wider range of elective and emergency operations will be published in the coming months.

It has been published alongside the Health Informatics Review, a review of how information can be better used across the department and NHS, and is to be followed by a more detailed Health Informatics Review Implementation Report in autumn 2008.

Commenting on the outcome of the Health Informatics Review, Tim Straughan, Chief Executive of The NHS Information Centre said: ‘High-quality, relevant information is crucial to enable the NHS to deliver world class services and to enable patients to make decisions about their health and care’.

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