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Hospital Healthcare Europe

WHO launches surgery safety checklist


25 June, 2008  

British health minister and surgeon Lord Darzi will today give a keynote speech at the National Patient Safety Agency’s (NPSA) participation in the launch of a new global surgery safety checklist.

The new checklist was drawn up by the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of its “WHO Safe Surgery Saves Lives” initiative.

The initative saw over 200 national and international medical societies and health ministries cooperating to reduce complications and avoidable deaths from surgery.

The NPSA said it received over 128,000 reports of patient safety incidents relating to specialised surgical care between October 2006 and September 2007, ranging from incorrect treatments or procedures to misplaced patient notes.

Lord Darzi, was involved in developing the WHO checklist, and led the UK pilot for the scheme at a London hospital. He said: “I feel confident that the introduction of the surgical safety checklist will improve the safety of patients who undergo surgery in the UK.

“Our pilot study in the UK and the seven other pilot sites worldwide indicate that the checklist will improve standards of care. We now need to ensure that surgical teams are supported fully with the implementation of the checklist and all surgical staff understand the importance of the initiative.”

Jane Reid, President of the Association for Perioperative Practice, said: “We want to make surgical safety everyone’s highest priority and include practical suggestions to achieve just that. Our membership represents all those working in operating theatres and so we particularly welcome the emphasis on encouraging a culture of safety embracing the whole surgical team.”

WHO Safe Surgery Saves Lives