There were fears last night about the scapegoating of successful doctors after the public release of surgical mortality data revealed that a third of patients died under the knife of a respected consultant.
The statistics, relating to more than 450 doctors who perform surgery involving blood vessels, were released yesterday morning – the first in a Department of Health bid to “drive better care”.
Before their publication online, Norman Williams, president of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), said the publication should not be viewed as a means of “trashing professional reputations”.
Yesterday, one consultant found himself under huge scrutiny and pressure from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s “revolution in transparency”. Simon Payne, a consultant vascular surgeon at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, was ranked bottom in his field in England.