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Orthopaedic professional bodies and registry highlight the value of NHS England’s PROMs programme

The British Orthopaedic Association (BOA), four British specialist orthopaedic societies and the National Joint Registry (NJR) have today (Thursday 24 March 2016) made a joint submission to NHS England’s consultation on its national Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) programme.

The PROMs programme measures health gain in patients, with data being collected nationally in England since 2009. Patients are asked to complete questionnaires before and after their operations to assess the improvement in their health as they perceive it.  The PROMs programme is a requirement for organisations performing NHS funded hip and knee replacements.

The joint response strongly endorses NHS England’s national PROMs data for hip and knee procedures as “incredibly important” and having “a wide range of purposes”.  The response also argues that there is a compelling case for all joint replacement operations - including ankles, shoulders and elbows - to become part of a mandated national PROMs programme.

Responding to the question of the most important purpose of PROMs data, the professional bodies and registry highlight the enormous value PROMs provides in both comparative data to support quality improvement and for research purposes regarding outcomes.

Mr Tim Wilton, British Orthopaedic Association President, commented:

“Orthopaedic surgery encompasses both a major area of healthcare spending, and a set of operative treatments which are amongst the most successful of all available to medicine. We nevertheless find a considerable variation in outcomes for patients. Given the high prevalence of the pertinent musculoskeletal conditions this is an area where PROMs data can have a particularly significant impact; in monitoring outcomes, in assisting patients’ decision making and in organising care pathways.”

The NJR’s medical director, Mr Martyn Porter, added that “without hip and knee PROMs the research utility of the registry’s data would be undermined.”  Research using NJR and PROMs data is undertaken both by the NJR itself and by external researchers, and has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at high-profile national and international conferences.

The consultation runs until Monday 28 March 2016.  For more information or to have your say, visit the consultation page on-line here.

The BOA and the four specialist societies involved in this response - the British Hip Society (BHS), British Association for Surgery of the Knee (BASK), British Elbow and Shoulder Society (BESS) and British Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (BOFAS) - represent over 4300 members, the vast majority of whom are practicing surgeons in the UK and Ireland. The National Joint Registry for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man (NJR) was set up in 2002 by the Department of Health to monitor the performance of implants and the effectiveness of different types of orthopaedic surgery, by collecting data on all hip, knee, ankle, elbow and shoulder joint replacements across the NHS and independent healthcare sector.

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