Bowel cancer patients in Southampton have better chance of survival

Three surgeons performing an operationBowel cancer patients at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have a better chance of surviving major surgery.

The national bowel cancer audit 2013, published in partnership with the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, showed the team of six surgeons at Southampton General Hospital performed 274 operations with one of the lowest adjusted mortality rates.

As part of the analysis, each hospital trust received a percentage score based on how ill patients were, how high-risk their procedures were and how many survived, with the national average at 3.1% deaths. 

If the number was lower it showed a better than average survival rate and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s was 1.8%. 

This means there were fewer than two deaths for every 100 patients in Southampton compared to the national average of three – a survival rate of 98.2%, which is among the best in the UK. 

James Smallwood, a consultant lower gastrointestinal surgeon and clinical lead for surgery at UHS, said: “Achieving the best possible survival rates from major surgery is every surgeon’s ultimate goal and it is a reflection of the quality of our teams, including in anaesthesia, intensive care and radiology, and our daily consultant review of every patient – including at weekends – in Southampton that we have a better than average survival rate with more patients surviving what can be very complex operations.”

Martin Stephens, associate medical director for clinical effectiveness at UHS, added: “This surgery plays an important part in treating patients with bowel cancer and this report is good news for our patients and staff, though we will keep looking at our results to see how we can maintain our performance and improve even further over the coming years.”

Posted on Friday 4 October 2013