Children’s heart surgery unit at Leeds and two other centres were close to “alert” threshold, figures showBMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2423 (Published 16 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2423
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Re: Children’s heart surgery unit at Leeds and two other centres were close to “alert” threshold, figures show
The silence from the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (NICOR) on the apparent resignation of its co-director, Prof. Sir Roger Boyle, shows that transparency in the NHS must extend beyond routine publication of outcome data.
Despite media reports 16 April 2013 of Boyle’s resignation [1-2], there is still nothing about this on the NICOR website, as at 26 April. On 21 April, I emailed the other co-director, Prof. John Deanfield, to ask when NICOR would publish something there. I did not receive a reply.
NICOR works with many partners, including the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (SCTS).  The SCTS has led the way in the NHS on data transparency: it provides outcomes online with NICOR for named surgeons, to help patients and the public make better decisions about their care. Indeed, the SCTS is urging other surgical specialities to follow suit. 
But an open and transparent NHS requires more than the disclosure of outcome data: its organisations must be accountable for their governance.
1. Dyer C. Children’s heart surgery unit at Leeds and two other centres were close to “alert” threshold, figures show. BMJ 2013;346:f2423. (16 April.)
2. Press Association. Senior doctor quits over Leeds child heart surgery row. Guardian 2013 April 16. www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/apr/16/senior-doctor-quits-leeds-heart-s....
3. Bridgewater B, Hickey GL, Cooper G, Deanfield J, Roxburgh J; on behalf of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland and the National Institute for Clinical Outcomes Research, UCL. Publishing cardiac surgery mortality rates: lessons for other specialties. BMJ 2013;346:f1139. (28 February.)
4. Philipson A. Heart patients to check their surgeon online. Daily Telegraph 2013 March 18.
Competing interests: No competing interests