Austerity and mortality were the twin tracks taken by this year’s Dr Foster Hospital Guide, which was once again edited by Alex Kafetz from ZPB.
The Guide looks at how money has been spent on behalf of populations now looked after by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and found some areas where spending on less effective operations has risen whilst spending on more effective operations has fallen. It also examined care at the weekends and focussed on middle aged patients with drug and alcohol problems and the resource drain they have on the NHS. The yearly publication of mortality rates continued with this year the data at hospital level as well as NHS Trust.
As ever the Hospital Guide evolves and changes each year. In 2013 the focus was on posters – both in digital and printed formats. One of the main reasons for this is the concise nature of the format which challenged the Hospital Guide team to distil the data into clear conclusions – with an output – often aided by infographics, which can be understandable to hospital managers and clinicians as well as patients and the public. As Dr Foster’s co-founder Roger Taylor said in his intro: “One of the most obvious features of posters is that they are, by their nature, public and transparent. Books and websites are made to be read individually and digested in private. Posters are about sharing information and messages.”