FAQs for Professionals

These FAQs will hopefully answer many of the questions that you might have about the National Vascular Registry (NVR). If you have additional queries, please contact the NVR team on nvr@rcseng.ac.uk.

What is the NVR?

The NVR stands for the National Vascular Registry. It is a national clinical audit commissioned by the Health Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) to measure the quality of care for patients who undergo vascular surgery in NHS hospitals. It was formed in January 2013 by the amalgamation of the National Vascular Database (NVD) and the UK Carotid Interventions Audit projects.

The NVR is part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP). NCAPOP is a closely linked set of centrally-funded national clinical audits that collect data on compliance with evidence based standards, and provide local trusts with benchmarked reports on the compliance and performance. The NVR uses structure, process and outcome indicators to measure the quality of care received by patients undergoing vascular surgery.

How does the NVR differ from the National Vascular Database (NVD)?

The NVR builds on the structure created by the NVD, and collects data on the five main procedures performed by vascular specialists in the UK. The NVR uses three sets of disease specific clinical datasets to capture details of the following five procedures:

  • The repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

  • Carotid endarterectomy

  • Lower limb angioplasty/stenting, Lower limb bypass, and Lower limb amputation for Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

What are the new features of the NVR data collection system?

  • The NVR collects fewer data items than the National Vascular Database (NVD); and the majority of data items are mandatory.
  • Data is collected on each procedure in a way that follows the pathway of care.
  • The save function available at all times will allow you to commence, stop and resumed data entry at any time.
  • Each of the five procedures is clearly identifiable by specific colour coding. For example, the AAA form is green, while the carotid is orange.
  • Online reports are available to help surgeons monitor the completeness of the data entered and the procedures that they have performed.

Who is running the NVR?

The NVR was formed by the amalgamation of the NVD and UK Carotid Interventions Audit projects. These projects had been used by vascular surgical services in the UK to monitor their practice and outcomes since 2005, and were part of a broad quality improvement programme undertaken by the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland in collaboration with other organisations. The Vascular Society will continue its quality improvement activities using the NVR. It is running the NVR with the Clinical Effectiveness Unit of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Does my hospital have to participate?

The NHS assesses how care is delivered to patients using national clinical audits. The NHS standard contract requires that English NHS organisations providing care must participate in all relevant NCAPOP audits and enquiries. If providers do not participate in relevant NCAPOP audits, they will be in breach of their contract with their commissioner; therefore any non-participation would need to be agreed with the commissioner and CQC as the regulator.

Further information is available on the HQIP website.

Who can take part in the audit?

NHS hospitals in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are participating in the National Vascular Registry. Any NHS consultant or hospital that undertakes vascular surgery or interventional radiology in the UK is eligible to take part in the audit.

Where can I find the new upload file specifications, dataset and any other documents?

All supporting documents, to help you submit your data via the new NVR, can be found on the Resources section. These include:

  • Proformas
  • A data dictionary
  • Upload file templates

These documents have been produced for the five NVR procedures performed.
Additional information on the NVR IT system is also available.

Are there any limitations on the browser I use to access the NVR IT system?

The NVR IT system can be accessed using Internet Explorer 7 or above, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome.