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Quality Improvement in Surgery

Learning and continuous improvement are essential parts of a surgeon’s day to day work.

There are many definitions of the concept of quality in healthcare, but it is widely accepted that it should be safe, effective, patient-centred, timely, efficient and equitable.

Quality improvement is one element of the quality agenda and while there is no single definition, it normally refers to using defined and systematic change methods over a set period of time to improve patient outcomes and experience.

Working with our members and other healthcare professionals and organisations we have explored how we can support surgeons and surgical services in making best use of quality improvement practice, to improve patient outcomes and experience and to develop quality improvement expertise within surgery.

We want to:

  • Improve QI knowledge across surgery
  • Promote the benefits of QI
  • Provide advice, tools and training to support QI in surgical practice
  • Facilitate QI information sharing and collaboration across the country
  • Support individual QI projects
  • Collaborate with key partners to drive QI forward and to build QI capability and capacity in surgery

We will do this by:

  • creating an online hub for quality improvement in surgery on the RCS’ web site, bringing together the many brilliant QI resources already available
  • supporting the development of directories of surgical QI projects for surgeons and trainees to share ideas, good QI practice and learning across the UK
  • holding national, regional and local events
  • spreading the reach of Chole-QuIC by delivering a programme of activities to share what we have learnt from the project
  • embedding QI within surgical training and curricula and supporting surgical trainers to develop QI skills and experience amongst surgical trainees
  • using multi-channel communication to raise awareness of QI and the benefits it can deliver
  • continuing to explore opportunities for new quality improvement collaboratives
  • encouraging the use of national surgical audit reports to drive improvements in surgical care

Read more about our existing project that aims to reduce time to urgent gall bladder surgery through the use of quality improvement methodology.

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Get in touch:

Have questions or want to contact us about the quality improvement work we’re doing?

  • Email Claire Flatt, project manager QI@rcseng.ac.uk. We will reply to you as soon as possible and aim to do this within a few days.
  • Call 020 7869 6235 to speak to the team.
  • For press and media enquiries please contact the RCS press office on pressoffice@rcseng.ac.uk or call 020 7869 6047

“This is a very exciting new direction for us to be taking. The Chole-QuIC project delivers real help to surgical teams in their place of work. We are now looking to expand this to help surgeons in other specialties tackle similar problems.”

Mr John Abercrombie, RCS Council Member and Quality Improvement in Surgery Clinical Lead

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