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We read with interest the paper by Morris et al, which looked at 30-day postoperative mortality after colorectal cancer surgery in England.1 In 1978, using the data from the large bowel cancer (LBC) project2 we made the case for looking at ‘surgeon’ as a highly significant variable in the context of randomised control trials. Each surgeon was given a random number independent of their institution to protect their confidentiality The results in the LBC project showed a wide variance in 30-day mortality between 0% and 5% up to 21% and for clinical anastomotic leak, the …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.