UK to Implement new Surgical Checklists

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A new Surgical Checklist has been published by the World Health Organisation which is expected to lead to an improvement in patient mortality figures and the number of patients experiencing complications following surgery.

Surgical teams are often composed of many different medical specialists and this can lead to problems. The new one page checklist, which is simple to complete, focuses on basic good practice and teamwork both before and during surgery.

Samantha Robson, Head of Medical and Clinical Negligence at Devon based law firm Slee Blackwell Solicitors said: “Anything that promotes patient care and safety is to be welcomed. This new Checklist has the potential to help many patients in the future.”

The Checklist has been trialled at a number of hospitals worldwide and each has reported dramatic decreases in the number of patient deaths and complications post surgery. The checklist also has the backing of the National Patient Safety Agency.

All hospitals in England and Wales must implement use of the Surgical Checklist by February 2010. Health professionals will be monitoring the situation carefully to assess whether it has the expected impact in this country.