The coding workstream focuses on the accuracy of coding and supports trusts to create specialty-specific methodology to improve the accuracy of coding.  A key aim is to increase collaboration between clinical teams and coders by including coders in multidisciplinary team meetings where appropriate.  The workstream works closely with clinical associations and NHS Digital, helping to identify and share good practice among coding departments, and providing materials to support coding service provision.

The current focus of the GIRFT clinical coding project is to advise on how the GIRFT project uses and reports on clinical coding, as well as supporting the design of clinical activity groups for consultant level reporting in the National Clinical Improvement Programme (NCIP).

Clinical coding guidance

Improving accuracy and consistency of COVID-19 coding

This appendix to the GIRFT Clinical Practice Guide for COVID-19 provides tables designed to support a retrospective data validation process where either an experienced coder, or experienced coder working with a clinician, may wish to go back and check the coding for COVID-19 patients to ensure that data are accurate, complete and consistent.

Click here to view the Multidisciplinary Coded Dataset Suggestions (MCDS) to improve accuracy and consistency of COVID-19 coding >

Hospital Dentistry clinical coding guidance booklet

GIRFT, the Consultant Orthodontist Group of the British Orthodontic Society and the Royal College of Surgeons have published a booklet to clarify the guidance on coding for hospital dentistry. The guidance has been developed for  clinicians, clinical coders and other health professionals at secondary care trusts and aims to improve the quality of data and reduce unwarranted variation.

Click here to view the clinical coding guidance booklet >

Joint Coding Lead: Andy Wheeler

Andy Wheeler is Head of Clinical Coding and Clinical Data Quality at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust and leads the coding workstream for the GIRFT programme with Sue Eve-Jones.  They are supported by  Dr Martin Allen.

Andy started in clinical coding in 1995, the year that ICD10 was introduced in England. He was trained at Barts and The London NHS Trust in a wide range of specialties and stayed there until leaving to take up the role of Coding Manager at the Royal Free Hospital. For fifteen years Andy has been Head of Clinical Coding at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) and for the last three years has been seconded into the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) project as Coding Lead. Andy also works on behalf of the RNOH for the National Orthopaedic Alliance (NOA) as the NOA coding lead.

Andy has broad experience in coding including the development of clinical datasets at RNOH which uses its own procedures code schedule for waiting list and activity management. Andy was also involved in the initial development of the spinal cord injuries costing package design project on behalf of the RNOH Spinal Cord Injuries Unit.

Joint Coding Lead: Sue Eve-Jones

Sue is a specialist in clinical classifications and coding with over 30 years of experience including training, audit, standard setting, classification authoring, mapping, organisational change, mortality data review, data analysis and research. She has worked at hospital, regional and national level and in the commercial sector in the UK and overseas. NHS roles have included Head of Clinical Coding and Data Quality at the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Head of Clinical Coding at the East and North Herts NHS Trust and currently Head of Clinical Coding at Dorset County Hospital.

Clinical Lead for Coding: Martin Allen

Consultant Physician for Respiratory Services and Lead in Sleep Services, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust.

Martin has been a consultant physician at University Hospital of North Midlands for the past 22 years, having previously worked as a consultant in Bradford for three years. He was also a senior registrar in Yorkshire.

Since 2006 he has worked closely with NHS Digital, being a member and now chair of the Respiratory Expert Working Group on coding, submitting requests for Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) codes, redesigning Healthcare Resource Groups (HRGs) and supporting the national tariff process. He has also led one of 10 specialties piloting out-patient coding, developing a series of key diagnosis and clinical terms to capture. He has been involved for several years in the Patient Level Information and Costing Systems (PLICS) process and sitting on the RCP Casemix Advisory Board.

For further information contact:

[email protected]