On Friday 28th June 2013 the first of many lists was published which look into the performance of surgeons including their death rates.
The first list to be published was that of vascular surgeons. These are open to the public to look into before they decide whether to go for surgery. Vascular surgeons are generally responsible for surgeries on veins and arteries throughout the body. This includes the fitting of stents. Prior to this list going live the only other specialism to offer such a service was cardio surgeons.
The government stated that should surgeons not agree to have their data published they would be publically named and shamed. This has happened to six surgeons throughout the country. All of these surgeons are said to be working to an acceptable level within the NHS. The main reason these surgeons have not agreed to their data being published is that they believe it is misleading and incomplete.
It is yet to be seen whether such publication will lead to patients hand picking their surgeons prior to appointments or surgery.
There are fears among some that these lists will lead to younger surgeons not wanting to take difficult or complex cases due to the fear of being labelled a bad surgeon. It may well be seen that those surgeons who are leading in their fields look to be performing badly purely because of the nature of the surgery they undertake.
The outcome is yet to be seen.