AUGIS and the ALSGBI have been working hard to produce a robust and accurate database for our most commonly performed operations.  Over the years we have seen attempts at self-reported databases but these will always be flawed because of the problems of low uptake and selective reporting, meaning that they are of very limited value.  In addition they have proved expensive to run and most have been discontinued.

The Surgical Workload Outcomes Audit Datatool (SWORD) can be accessed from the ALSGBI or AUGIS websites. It runs on HES data and identifies all NHS operations performed in England.   Phase one shows data on cholecystectomy, anti-reflux surgery and hernia surgery.  The data is sorted by Consultant attribution coding (ie all work performed in your name) and grouped into hospital trust and regional levels.  The data on the website is updated quarterly and is only accessible to AUGIS and ALSGBI Consultant members.  It is pseudonomised (ie each consultant has an individual code but that code will only be given to that consultant).

SWORD has just been migrated to a new software platform (Tableau) which has given us the opportunity to upgrade some of the functionality and introduce some new features.  Besides a fresh new look, there are new datasets, more statistics and the Appraisal tool can now be varied to allow you to customize the dates and fields and accessed at any time by yourself from your own login.  Please remember that HES data is collated into quarterly reports and runs 3-6 months behind the current date.   We are also piloting a Unit data collection tool in the UGI dataset which if popular can be rolled out to other specialties.  We need your feedback to improve and advance its functionality so please contact us at

The data allows you to see activity using a mixture of a standard dashboard data (eg re-operation rates, readmission rates, length of stay, day case rates) and data related specifically to that procedure (eg for cholecystectomy – proportion of  cholecystectomies carried out within 10 days of an episode of pancreatitis or cholecystitis).  You will also be able to compare yourself to your peers locally and also to the national averages.  In the Consultant view you will be able to screen print summary sheets of your activity for that year for your appraisal folder.

The number of procedures available will gradually increase over the next year (there are 5 more already nearing completion) and we are exploring its applicability to Cancer operations as well.

To access the tool, please click the graphic below – you will need a log-in name and password which can be obtained from Jennifer Treglohan