Children’s Surgery Outcome Reporting (CSOR)

Half a million children in England and Wales undergo surgery each year. In 2011, the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death (NCEPOD) review of children’s surgery in the UK concluded there was room to improve the number of these children that were successfully treated.

Across the UK, there is significant variation in the way children are treated for surgical conditions (conditions which usually, but not always, require an operation). However, at the moment, we do not know which elements of this variation affect how successfully children are treated.

The NIHR HIC is supporting the CSOR Research Database, which has been established to collect the data that are needed to identify which elements of variation in management affect how successfully children are treated. The database will collect information directly from participating hospitals electronic patient record systems, and link this information with routinely collected sources of data (such as Hospital Episodes Statistics), and parent reported quality of life data. Additionally, the programme aims to provide a mechanism by which hospitals can look in detail at how their practice impacts their outcomes, compare their own practice to that of others, and elements of good practice can be easily identified and shared.

There are ten hospitals participating in the first five year phase of the CSOR programme, and six conditions (oesophageal atresia, gastroschisis, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, necrotising enterocolitis, posterior urethral valves, and Hirschsprung’s disease) that are being included in the research database.

By trying to identify and promote areas of best practice, the CSOR programme will hopefully provide a mechanism for improving the number of children that are successfully treated, as well as improving the experience of children and their carers.

To find out more about the CSOR programme, please visit