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Service Reviews

Invited service reviews assist healthcare organisations by providing independent, expert advice on surgical service delivery and how this might be improved. This process has been designed to provide a fair, independent professional review which will support - but not replace - existing local procedures for dealing with such issues.

What issues can a service review address?

An invited service review is tailored to the specific requirements of the circumstances faced. Terms of reference for each review will be agreed between the referring organisation and the RCS, to ensure the scope of what is to be covered is clear and commonly understood.

Some of the different types of service reviews that can be provided are as follows:

Surgical service quality review

Purpose: Providing a view on the quality of care delivered, either in response to concerns being raised, to provide assurance of good practice or to inform planning service re-design.

Areas considered: All relevant aspects of the service, such as patient outcomes and experience and the standard of teamworking supporting the service.

Review arrangements: Typically includes a two day site visit with interviews of key staff supporting the service.

Typical cost: Approx. £20,000

Preparation time: Approx. 10 weeks.

Multi-specialty service review

Purpose: Reviewing the standard of care provided by a multi-specialty team. Examples of this include head and neck surgery, spinal surgery and trauma surgery teams.

Areas considered: The quality of care being delivered and the processes and teamworking underpinning this.

Review arrangements: Will include a multi-specialty team of reviewers and typically a two to three day site visit with interviews including relevant staff from each specialty.

Typical cost: £20-30,000

Preparation time: Approx. 10-12 weeks.

Surgical network review

Purpose: Looking at how a networked surgical service is delivered across a region or considering plans for regional reconfiguration. May include more than one Trust or Health Board and/or more than one CCG.

Areas considered: Pathways, resources, activity and outcomes and teamworking.

Review arrangements: Typically includes a three day site visit across all relevant hospital sites to meet with key staff.

Typical cost: Approx. £30,000

Preparation time: Approx. 12 weeks.

Theatre safety review

Purpose: Responding to a number of incidents in theatre, including never events, and providing advice on learning from incidents and the effectiveness of steps taken to improve safety.

Areas considered: Process, resource and team working factors relevant to theatre safety as well as governance for incidents.

Review arrangements: Will include a multi-disciplinary team of reviewers and typically a two to three day site visit involving interviews with a wide range of staff.

Typical cost: £20-30,000

Preparation time: Approx. 10-12 weeks.

Post incident review

Purpose: Providing a focused review of a team involved in a clinical incident, such as a death in theatre or other serious incident, and advice on areas for additional learning and improvement.

Areas considered: Taking account of the events leading up to the incident and subsequent actions to investigate and learn from it.

Review arrangements: Typically includes a one day review visit, involving interviews with the staff directly involved in the incident.

Typical cost: £12,000

Preparation time: Approx. 8 weeks.

How to request a service review

Please complete and return an invited review request form

Alternatively, if you would like to discuss a situation which the Invited Review team may be able to assist with, please call us on 020 7869 6222 or email

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