Why is this work needed?
Tens of thousands of joint replacement operations take place in the UK every year. Without collecting data about the outcomes of these procedures, it is difficult to fully inform people of their options, promote improvements in treatment and identify areas where the outcomes could be improved. Maintaining a patient register also allows for comprehensive patient recall, if necessary.
What is happening?
The National Joint Registry (NJR) collects information on joint replacement surgery and monitors the performance of joint replacement implants. This data is then used to monitor the performance of the implants and the effectiveness of different types of surgery, as well as supporting research and allowing people to access their own records.
What are the benefits?
Hospitals and surgeons can use the NJR to get feedback on their performance and work on improving the outcome for their patients. The database can also monitor if the devices used are effective, supporting surgeons in picking the right device for the right individual. For example, in 2010 the NJR identified higher than expected revision (re-do surgery) rates for metal-on-metal hip implants, leading to the prompt removal of this type of implant from the market.
People who need joint replacement surgery can also use the NJR to better inform themselves by checking information about their consultant’s practice, the hospital where their operation will be carried out, and being supported to access their own data.
What type of data is involved?
The NJR combines Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data and Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs).
What is the legal basis for accessing the data?
The database records all operations carried out and the joint replacement devices used. Patients are also asked if the records can include identifying data.
Identifiable data can only be accessed by the patient themselves, and their surgeon.
Data collected via the NJR may be used for medical research but only if it has passed ethical review and if the outcomes are expected to provide significant benefits to healthcare. Any data provided is de-personalised.
Who funds and collaborates on this work?
The NJR is funded by the NHS and independent providers of joint replacement surgery, in proportion to how many procedures they carry out.
Where can I go for more information?
- Page updated: 8 August 2019
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