National Bowel Cancer Audit Short Report: Hospital- and surgeon- level volumes for rectal cancer surgery

Reports | Published: 13 Jan 2022

The National Bowel Cancer Audit (NBOCA) has published a short report into hospital and surgeon level volumes for rectal cancer surgery in England and implications for Wales. Based on data between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2019, the report aims to inform and facilitate further work exploring the relationship between rectal cancer surgery volume and outcome, including appropriate risk-adjustment.

Overall, the report found that most hospitals are performing above the threshold of 10 rectal cancer resections per year as recommended by NICE. However, a significant proportion of surgeons do not meet the recommended threshold of five rectal cancer resections per year. The report’s recommendations include:

  • Hospitals should review their results for rectal cancer surgery volumes and evaluate their current practice in line with NICE guidelines
  • Providers should explore how best to appropriately utilise and monitor surgeon-level rectal cancer surgery volumes (i.e. the potential for reporting surgeon-level rectal cancer volumes back to individual hospitals to inform service structure), and
  • Hospitals should enter multiple consultant surgeons where appropriate to indicate dual consultant operating using the new NBOCA data entry item.

The report goes on to draw a number of conclusions including the fact that clear differences exist in the characteristics and clinical practice of low and high-volume hospitals (with high-volume hospitals more likely to be a comprehensive cancer centre and to perform open and robotic surgery).

Read the full report: You can read the report by clicking on the link below.

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National Bowel Cancer Audit Short Report: Hospital- and surgeon- level volumes for rectal cancer surgery