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RCS England collaborates with Intuitive to supercharge robotic surgery

20 Jul 2023

Leading robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) company Intuitive has further developed its support for the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England) through its support of a new multi-professional network that will shape the future development of RAS surgery nationally.  


The three-year collaboration is another step in RCS England’s pioneering work to shape the Future of Surgery. The aim is to accelerate the safe integration of RAS into healthcare nationally and to support surgeons at all levels of training and experience to become proficient in RAS.


RCS England and Intuitive see RAS as one of the key changes in how surgery is delivered across healthcare in the next 10 years, with growing uptake already. The collaboration will help RCS England’s work to review and develop the evidence base for the use of robotics and ensure RAS training enables improved patient outcomes.


Intuitive’s support will enable RCS England to strengthen the programme management infrastructure and resources available to support a multi-professional network of experts. This independent expert group will regularly convene to drive future research into RAS, facilitate improved access to training in RAS, improve the quality of national data available about RAS, and raise public, patient and policy awareness.


Professor Neil Mortensen, Immediate Past President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:


“Robotics is here to stay — and we need to leverage this technology and increase take-up where this supports the best quality patient care. When I have spoken to surgeons across the country, I have heard how RAS can help reduce the physical strain of their work. The College wants to be a driving force in the safe integration of RAS into healthcare nationally, a crucial move in recruiting and retaining surgeons.


“Robotic-assisted surgery is not part of the future of surgery; this shift is already occurring. It is the here and now, and when used appropriately, can help surgeons to conduct procedures more precisely and enable patients to recover quicker.”


RCS England’s Immediate Past President Professor Neil Mortensen has witnessed innovative robotic surgery in action during presidential visits, including Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital, which has conducted over 3000 robotic procedures since the installation of a da Vinci surgical system at the hospital in 2013 and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, where he learned about its new robotics programme in pancreatic surgery.


Professor Mortensen said, “Surgeons up and down the country use robotic systems to assist in surgeries including urological, colorectal, and thoracic, providing them with enhanced visualisation and ergonomics. Immersive technologies and virtual reality solutions allow trainees to practice in a controlled environment before operating on real patients.


“The College is committed to supporting the safe introduction and development of RAS across all platforms and welcomes the close and constructive dialogue between the profession and all RAS industry stakeholders in the interest of better care for patients. Our collaboration with Intuitive is one major step in this process.” 

David Marante, Regional Director at Intuitive UK and Ireland said:

“The Royal College of Surgeons of England has set a clear vision for the future of surgery and the role of RAS in evolving surgical training and care for patients. The future is now – which is why it is a privilege to support the College’s efforts as it drives forward this important work.


“I’m confident that over the course of this three-year collaboration, the College and Intuitive can work together to continue demonstrating the clinical, operational and strategic value of RAS, enabling current and future generations of surgeons and care teams to continue to have access to our da Vinci RAS technology and ensure they are able to deliver the best outcomes for patients.”


Since the publication of RCS England’s Future of Surgery report in December 2018, the RCS England Robotics programme has helped to secure funding to drive research in surgical data science and qualitative assessment of the introduction of RAS in the NHS, two major research projects in UK universities. It has also appointed an RCS England and Health Education England Fellow to undertake research into the future development of robotic surgical training.


The College has developed dedicated robotics e-learning and incorporates robotics into its Learning offer. It has accredited multiple surgical training centres providing robotic and minimally invasive surgery training and approved a number of Senior Clinical Fellowships with a robotic training element hosted within UK hospitals. In October 2022 the College accredited Intuitive’s entire global education portfolio.


RCS England has developed guidance on the introduction of RAS, to be launched later this month, which aims to support the safe and structured introduction of RAS and fruitful collaboration between hospitals, surgeons, and industry. 


Notes to Editors:


1. The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England) provides world-class education, assessment, and development to 30,000 surgeons, dental professionals, and wider surgical and dental care teams at all stages of their careers. Our vision is to see excellent surgical care for everyone. We do this by setting professional standards, facilitating research, and championing the best outcomes for patients.


2. For more information, please contact the Press Office: Telephone: 020 7869 6053/6054/6047; Email:; Out-of-hours media enquiries: 0207 869 6056.

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