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Surgical Practice

Reconfiguration of surgical services

The RCS has published a position statement supporting the reconfiguration of surgical services as long as certain principles are met. In particular, any decisions must be underpinned by strong clinical evidence and a genuine public consultation exercise that happens at an early stage of the process. In conjunction with the RCS Council and surgical specialty associations, we have outlined below the surgical specialties that would benefit most from the reshaping of services and development of a network approach. 

Emergency surgery policy briefing (September 2014)

This briefing sets out the main challenges facing emergency surgery, and the high-level actions the Government and other policy-makers can take to support patients who require emergency surgical care.

Public Accounts Committee briefing on A&E services (December 2013)

This briefing sent to members of the Public Accounts Committee sets out the Royal College of Surgeons’ views on how to improve the management of emergency admissions.

Parliamentary briefing on A&E services (November 2013)

This briefing sent to members of the House of Lords sets out the Royal College of Surgeons’ eight recommendations on how to improve A&E services.

Urgent and emergency services (May 2013)

The College made this submission to the Health Select Committee's inquiry into urgent and emergency services and care. It emphasises that managing emergency surgical patients in the safest and most efficient manner is vital.

Surgery and the NHS in numbers (March 2013)

Surgery is one of the most important treatments offered by the NHS in secondary care within the UK. This briefing gives the background to the workload of surgeons and the number of procedures undertaken in the NHS.

Surgical specialties

Modern surgery has developed to such an extent that the body of knowledge and technical skills required have led to surgeons specialising in particular areas, usually an anatomical area of the body or occasionally in a particular technique or type of patient. There are nine surgical specialties and this section contains background briefings from the College on the main branches of specialist surgical practice.

Surgical assistants (April 2011 - now under review due to work on extended surgical teams)

In this position statement, the College calls for further clarity on the job titles and clinical remits of those practitioners who assist with surgery. The College expects that surgical assistance should, wherever possible, be undertaken by surgeons-in-training.

Openness and transparency in surgery (September 2010)

The reputation of the NHS has continued to suffer from a real or perceived notion that hospital staff are afraid to be open with patients, managers and other healthcare organisations about errors of poor practice. This briefing outlines the views of the College on issues such as whistleblowing, candour with patients, and incident reporting.

Consent for blood transfusion (September 2010)

In this position statement, the College suggests that best practice around consent for blood transfusions can and should be applied within the existing consent process.

Live Surgery Broadcasts (September 2010)

In this position statement, the College sets out its view on live surgery broadcasts - the real-time transmission of surgical procedures to an audience.

Reducing alcohol misuse in trauma and other surgical patients (January 2010)

There is a strong evidence base for brief, cognitive behavioural advice delivered by nursing staff as a routine part of trauma and other surgical care for conditions known to result from alcohol misuse. In this position statement the College champions the introduction of this approach for the identification and management of patients who misuse alcohol.

Surgical Decontamination Services (December 2009)

In this policy position statement the College sets out it principles and recommendations for the operation of a safe surgical decontamination service.

Provision of Trauma Care (2007)

This policy briefing outlines the view of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in relation to the planning and provision of care for seriously injured patients.

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