Intended for healthcare professionals

Dr Foster's Case Notes

Variation in operation rates by primary care trust

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 08 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:539
  1. Paul Aylin,
  2. Susan Williams,
  3. Brian Jarman,
  4. Alex Bottle
  1. Dr Foster Unit, Imperial College

    Variation in the use of surgical procedures has been well documented in the US, England and Norway.w1 w2 With increasing emphasis in health care on clinical guidelines,w3 service frameworks,w4 and evidence based medicine,w5 w6 one might expect to see less variation in practice over time. Using hospital episode statistics, we looked at trends in variation between primary care trusts in operation rates for 10 common procedures over six years from 1998-9 to 2003-4.

    The bottom line

    • Carotid endarterectomy, haemorrhoidectomy, and cholecystectomy all showed high variation in operation rates by …

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