Surgical Mesh Implants

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 6th June 2018.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what procedures are in place to ensure that the correct Hospital Episode Statistics codes are being used so that accurate information is available for the Government's audit into recovery after vaginal mesh surgery.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Information Governance Toolkit (IGT) is a Departmental policy delivery vehicle in England developed and maintained by NHS Digital. It is an online system which allows organisations to assess themselves or be assessed against Information Governance policies and standards. Within the toolkit IGT Requirements 510 and 505 are used as part of the Secondary Use Assurance of acute National Health Service trust clinical coded data.

IGT Requirement 510 covers the training of clinical coders, maintenance of their skills and knowledge and also attaining the Institute of Health Records and Information Management (IHRIM) National Clinical Coding Qualification UK. IGT Requirement 505 covers audit of the clinical coded data.

All acute trusts under Requirement 505 must have an annual clinical coding audit of a minimum of 200 finished consultant episodes undertaken by an approved clinical coding auditor. In addition, individual trusts undertake regular internal clinical coding on specific areas of local interest to ensure accurate and quality coded data and where necessary implement action plans for quality improvements.

NHS Digital provides a helpdesk to address any queries, inconsistencies or requirement to published national clinical coding standards to improve the quality of coded data.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) publish codes for the Interventional Procedure Guidance published on their website in collaboration with NHS Digital which coders can use to inform their code assignments. NICE procedure guidance is published for mesh procedures.

The IGT is in the process of being replaced by the Data Security and Protection Toolkit and the Requirements 510 and 505 will continue under the new Data Security and Protection Toolkit.

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