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Patient safety issues

Duty of Candour

In this briefing the College sets out its view on the proposed duty of candour ahead of a debate on the matter in the House of Lords.

Wilful neglect or ill-treatment in health and social care

The College produced this briefing on Government amendments to create a new offence of wilful neglect or ill treatment in health and social care ahead of their reading in the Commons.

Duty of Candour

The College produced this statement setting out its views on duty of candour and how a culture of openness and transparency can drive professionalism and improve standards in the NHS.

Following the Government's response to the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry, Professor Norman Williams, President of the College, and Sir David Dalton Chief Executive of Salford Royal Hospital, were asked by the Secretary of State for Health to lead a review on two proposals to enhance candour in the NHS.

The final report ‘Building a culture of candour: A review of the threshold for the duty of candour and of the incentives for care organisations to be candid’ can be accessed here.

Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry

In this document, the College sets out its views on Robert Francis QC's public inquiry into the events at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

The College produced this briefing ahead of a debate on the Francis inquiry in March 2014.

The Five Steps to Safer Surgery (December 2010)

In this statement, the College strongly endorses the National Patient Safety Agency's 'Five steps to safer surgery' programme, which recommends team briefing and debriefing in conjunction with the WHO safer surgery checklist.

Clinical Board for Surgical Safety (2010)

The President of the Royal College of Surgeons chairs the National Patient Safety Agency Clinical Board for Surgical Safety.  This document outlines the function of the Board and its achievements in the first two years of operation.

Openness with patients (July 2010)

This position statement sets out the College's views on how openness can be improved through enabling organisations to foster supportive working environments, rather than imposing a legal duty of candour.

Continuity of care (October 2009)

In this statement, the College sets out principle around accountability, communication and patient experience which it believes are essential to ensuring continuity of care during surgical care.

Patient safety (September 2009)

The Royal College of Surgeons is committed to improving patient safety. This briefing outlines the views of the College on patient safety and the work being undertaken to improve surgical care for all patients.

Healthcare acquired infections (October 2008)

Fellows and Members have asked for clear guidance from the College on healthcare acquired infections. This is a complex area and there are differing views on various key aspects which were debated at length by Council. However, there was broad agreement which led the College to produce this policy document.