Hospital Guide Consultation

For the first time, Dr Foster is making the methodologies it intends to use in its 2010 Hospital Guide available pre-publication for comment and consultation, in partnership with HSJ.

In this year's guide, Dr Foster is looking at a number of new metrics measuring patient safety and clinical effectiveness. These are based on best practice and clinical guidance.

Important note

Dr Foster takes pride in the work it does, and makes a considerable investment in developing new ideas, methods and techniques. The methodologies outlined here include some new algorithms which are the intellectual property of Dr Foster, and are protected under the laws of the United Kingdom and other countries. While Dr Foster is happy to allow NHS organisations to replicate any of the analyses described here for their own internal purposes, they do not allow any use which is for commercial exploitation or third party benefit. Use for these purposes requires express prior written permission. Dr Foster takes the integrity of its work and the protection of its intellectual property very seriously, and will take full enforcement action against any infringement. If you are unsure as to whether your intended use would be infringing, then please email to discuss your requirements

The indicators have been developed in partnership with the Dr Foster Unit at Imperial College London and in conversation with other leading indicator development units, not least Kings College London and the US Agency for Healthcare Research Quality (AHRQ). NHS clinicians have also been involved in this development.

This website gives you the opportunity to understand the indicators Dr Foster proposes to publish and to feed back any concerns or suggestions for improvement that you might have. In particular, please consider these questions:

  • 1. Are there any diagnosis or procedure codes that have been included that you believe should be removed? Please give your reasons
  • 2. Are there any diagnosis or procedure codes that have been omitted that you believe should be included? Please give your reasons
  • 3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each metric as an indicator

You can use the feedback box on each indicator's page to submit comments to HSJ. Alternatively, you can email Dr Foster directly at

Please submit your response by 3 September 2010. The Dr Foster Unit will review all responses and suggest modifications to the indicators. Dr Foster regrets that it cannot reply to all submissions individually.

The Hospital Guide will be published online and in a printed report at the end of November. All trusts listed in this report will be contacted with the results of the analyses in advance of publication.

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About Dr Foster

Dr Foster aims to help bridge the gap between data and knowledge. It is a joint venture between the Department of Health and Dr Foster Holdings LLP.

One of Dr Foster's objectives is to promote the development of an information culture in the NHS by providing appropriate information and analysis to clinicians and managers in order to help them deliver the best quality healthcare. Dr Foster also aims to promote greater access to data across all public services and more intelligent use of data to understand variations in outcomes and availability of services.

The Dr Foster Unit at Imperial College London has developed pioneering methodologies that enable fast, accurate identification of potential problems in clinical performance - and areas of high achievement.

Dr Foster works to a code of conduct that prohibits political bias and requires it to act in the public interest. The code is monitored by the Ethics Committee, an independent body chaired by Sir Donald Irvine, chairman of Picker Institute Europe and former president of the General Medical Council.

Please see for more information