RCN backs surgical safety checklist for practices

The requirement for all practices where surgical procedures are performed and hospitals in England and Wales to implement the WHO surgical safety checklist is welcomed by the Royal College of Nursing.

Photograph: istock/ Jacob Wackerhausen
Photograph: istock/ Jacob Wackerhausen

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) requires implementation for every patient undergoing a surgical procedure.

Dr Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: ‘The checklist is a simple yet effective initiative which will significantly reduce the risk of complications and even death as a result of surgery. Nurses, and other health care professionals, strive to maintain best practice at all times – the introduction of the checklist will help in achieving this fundamental aim.’

The WHO checklist will be a requirement in February 2010.

Guidance includes all team members introducing themselves with first and last names and explaining roles before any procedure.


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