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NJR Data Quality Committee (DQC)

Chair’s report 2022/23 – Mr Derek Pegg

Derek Pegg
Derek Pegg
Chair NJR Data Quality Committee

Having taken up post in April 2021 as the Chair of the NJR Data Quality Committee, this is my first report. It has been another challenging year in terms of monitoring and improving data quality with the ongoing COVID pandemic and we have yet to see surgical volumes return to pre-pandemic levels. 

During 2021/22, we have focused on completing the audits for the outstanding audit years, 2018/19 and 2019/20, completion of which, for many units, were directly impacted as a result of the initial COVID wave. The 2018/19 audit is now complete and work is ongoing to finalise the 2019/20 audit. The 2020/21 audit is ongoing using data quality automation, extending the audit to elbows, shoulders and ankles. As a result of automation, we are hopeful that units will be able to review their data more regularly and thus achieve conclusion of these essential audits in a more timely manner.

A total of 349 hospitals completed the 2019/20 audit by the target deadline and were eligible to receive their Data Quality Provider Awards. Particular historical issues with data quality have been identified with certain segments of the registry data for elbows, and dual-mobility hips. During the year, two additional audits have been undertaken in these areas to address these concerns. 

The elbow audit started in October 2021 and to date, nearly 3,000 elbow records have been audited across England. This has resulted in an additional 2,000 elbow procedures being added to the registry. These additional procedures will form part of the analysis in the NJR Annual Report and greatly enhance the elbow dataset. The audit has been supported by British Orthopaedic Trainee Association (BOTA), the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA), the Royal College of Surgeons of England and British Elbow & Shoulder Society (BESS) and we have benefited from the engagement of orthopaedic trainees at a local level in assisting with the audit. I would like to extend my thanks to Prof. Adam Watts for leading on this work and to all the hospitals who have completed the audit.

An additional audit of dual-mobility hips has also been undertaken with the support of NEC to resolve data issues within the registry for these procedures. Now 124 hospitals have completed the audit and it is still in progress at a further 31 hospitals. Again, thank you to all the staff in the hospitals who have been involved in this work. 

Future plans

During the coming year, the NJR will be working to improve compliance further through the introduction of the new Data Quality Award Scheme. We are looking forward to introducing this new framework to keep improving the quality of data within the NJR across all joints. 

In addition, we are hoping to build on the work of the additional audits undertaken in elbows and dual mobility hips to further enhance the dataset available for other joints.

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