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Surgical procedures are undertaken in many healthcare settings including primary care and radiology. These procedures are undertaken in day surgery units and on an outpatient basis as well as during inpatient care. 


Between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2008 there were 135,247 incidents reported in surgical specialities to the Reporting and Learning System (RLS).


The National Reporting and Learning Service is working to help healthcare organisations reduce the risks during surgery in a number of ways, including:


  • Establishing the Clinical Board for Surgical Safety in October 2007. The Board is chaired by President of Royal College of Surgeons and membership includes representation from all relevant colleges and associations

  • Working with the World Health Organisation on their Safe Surgery Saves Lives Challenge, launched in June 2008

  • Developing a surgical safety checklist for England and Wales and promoting the Five Steps to Safer Surgery.


Search for guidance on improving patient safety during surgery below.

Checklist evaluation

Surgical Checklist Implementation Project (SCIP)

Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have been awarded an National Institute for Health Research grant to undertake an in-depth national evaluation of the Surgical Safety Checklist in England.

The evaluation with focus on Checklist usability and its contribution to safer care delivery.

More information on the SCIP website

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