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Source: Hospitals failing to comply with National Joint Registry submissions | Arthritis Research UK.

Hospitals ‘failing to comply with National Joint Registry submissions’

Published on 14 September 2012

Hospitals 'failing to comply with National Joint Registry submissions'

NHS trusts and health boards are now required to submit information to the National Joint Registry (NJR), but a study suggests many are failing to do so.

The registry was launched in 2002 and collects data on hip, knee, ankle, elbow and shoulder replacement procedures in order to highlight any issues of concern relating to patient safety.

Submissions to the registry – the largest of its type in the world – were made mandatory by the government in April 2011, but a new report indicates that many NHS organisations are risking patients‘ long-term safety by failing to comply.

Two-fifths of relevant NHS trusts and health boards were rated ‘red’ for submissions for 2011, which means that they submitted data on less than 80 per cent of the hip and knee replacement operations performed that year.

Elaine Young, national development lead for the NJR, said that these data are “essential” for healthcare professionals, as they help them to decide which prostheses and procedures are safest for individual patients.

“The fuller the picture provided by hospitals, the more robust the data quality, which can only lead to further improvements in patient care,” she explained.

Ms Young said that the situation has improved, but emphasised that cases where English trusts and Welsh health boards fail to comply will be escalated to the relevant regulators in future.

Professor Paul Gregg, vice-chair of the NJR Steering Committee and chair of its surgeon outlier sub-committee, commented: “The NJR relies on hospitals to help maximise data quality – it is therefore highly disappointing that not all trusts and health boards are currently registering all operations, as this will have a negative effect on this process.”

A spokesman for Arthritis Research UK echoed Professor Gregg’s comments.

“The NJR can only do its job if hospital trusts co-operate in supplying it with the relevant information. This is particularly important given the ongoing situation with metal-on-metal hip replacements,” he added.