Latest GIRFT data shared to the Model Health System will help to improve care in cardiothoracic surgery

Data which enables NHS trusts and systems to understand and improve how they care for patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery in England has been published on the Model Health System (MHS) by the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) team.

A range of metrics covering service and contextual data and specific cardiac and thoracic procedures are now available on the MHS portal.

Clinical teams and managers can access local and system-wide data showing their volumes, as well as detailed metrics on patient cohorts. Metrics for lung resection and empyema patients are included for thoracic surgery, along with metrics for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures, valvular surgery and aortovascular procedures for cardiac surgery.

The metrics are arranged in two sub-compartments ‘GIRFT Cardiac Surgery All Clinical Metrics’ and ‘GIRFT Thoracic Surgery All Clinical Metrics’, reflecting the separation of these clinical services in most trusts. The key metrics from these sub-compartments are also summarised in gateway sub-compartments. To access data for your unit, log in to and navigate to ‘acute hospital services > cardiothoracic surgery > GIRFT metrics’.

Cardiothoracic surgery is the surgical treatment of diseases of the organs contained within the chest, including the heart, major blood vessels and the lungs. Around seven million people in England have cardiovascular disease and it accounts for one in four of all deaths, with lung cancer the most common cause of cancer death.

The new MHS compartment supports the findings of the GIRFT national report for cardiothoracic surgery, published in 2018. Former clinical lead David Richens and the GIRFT team visited all 31 cardiothoracic units in England before making a series of 20 recommendations in the national report. A second round of cardiothoracic deep dive reviews took place in 2021/22 under the then clinical lead Doug West.

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