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Research and Innovation

Use of placebo surgery in surgical research (February 2016)

In this statement the College sets out its position on the use of placebo surgery in clinical trials.

Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill (January 2016)

Ahead of the Bill’s Report stage on 29th January, the RCS has sent a joint letter to MPs on our position with other royal colleges, and organisations representing doctors, patients and medico-legal experts. We call on MPs to support the amendments tabled to remove Clauses 3 and 4 of the Bill, which would have changed the law on clinical negligence, thereby undermining the robust frameworks that inform clinical responsibility and patient safety. We believe that Clause 2, providing for a database of innovative treatments, may be unnecessary in legislation, and we ask the Government and the Bill’s sponsor for further detail on this.

Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill (October 2015)

This briefing details the RCS’ view on this Bill at Second Reading in the House of Commons. The College opposes the Bill, and is concerned that it would serve to confuse the current law on medical negligence, with the potential to change the legal standing of the doctor-patient relationship. Furthermore, the College deems certain sections of the Bill to be unnecessary as legislation.

Clinical Trials Transparency (August 2015)

In this statement the College sets out its position in support of transparency in clinical trials and its expectations for surgical trial researchers. It is accompanied by a blog on the website of the AllTrials campaign, which the College supports.

Medical Innovation Bill (February 2015)

As the Bill moved into the Commons to be discussed by MPs for the first time (a stage known as Second Reading) the RCS produced this briefing ahead of the debate. We continue not to support the Bill for the reasons outlined in the document.

Our briefing for Third Reading of the Bill in the House of Lords, the previous stage, is also available at this link.


From Innovation to Adoption (April 2014)

Successful innovation requires both the discovery and the implementation of a new technique. In this new report, a follow up to our first report on innovation, From Theory to Theatre, the College presents an analysis of five surgical case studies to help explore the barriers and the drivers that shape patterns of adoption in the NHS.


Use of animals in research

The College is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), and supports the AMRC position statement on the use of animals in research.

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