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Coders are as much a part of the team as consultants at Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Case study: At Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the coding team is viewed as essential to the smooth running of the hospital. Accurate and consistent reporting of data is vital. All co-morbidities logged in the notes translate into coding data that informs tariff. Accurate, legible medical notes will inform accurate coding.

The accuracy of data informs reports that can, for example, retrospectively analyse length of stay data against a particular patient group. This allows focused future planning and influences the way we run hospital services.

Claire Tripp

Director of operations, Papworth Hospital NHS Trust

Within the hospital there are four main areas: cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, respiratory medicine and transplantation. These areas are split into service lines and each of these has a lead clinician providing a clinical focus to the coding, this contributes to the success of the data quality.

This level of leadership and the presence of clinicians who understand the link between data and tariffs are vital to creating a culture where high quality data are the norm.


Coders have to be impartial. As tariff updates are released, clinicians are briefed on the changes in order to reduce the impact on the trust finances by reinforcing the need for comprehensive medical notes, which the coders will interpret and code accordingly.

Claire Tripp

Director of Operations

Within the trust, education around coding is continuous. The trust has invested in its coders. They have support from the audit department, which ensures objectivity. Tripp believes that coders need to be valued and are as much team players as the consultants.

You can’t run a good hospital without good data and coding. It is a trust responsibility that has been enhanced by a strong working relationship between coders and clinicians.

Claire Tripp

Director of operations

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