8 May 2019

Plans to make surgery as safe as it can be have been unveiled by SaTH.

They include reducing interruptions in theatre, developing theatre team leaders and ensuring that key theatre procedures are given more priority.

It follows an in-depth look by Trust into the way the theatres operate at PRH and RSH.

The Trust wants to learn from recent Never Events – incidents that are preventable and which should not occur – and what could have caused them to reduce the risk of them happening in future.

A theatres ‘taskforce’ has spent the past few months considering all elements of life in the theatres including surgeons and other staff being interrupted during procedures, how surgical counts are dealt with and a host of ‘human factors’ which inevitably play a role with large teams working together delivering complex treatments.

The feedback and learning has been shared with theatre staff across SaTH and includes supporting and developing senior nurses and operating department practitioners in their roles as team leaders; introducing an induction for staff who are new to theatres at SaTH, and devising new ways of reducing interruptions when surgery is under way.

Mr Jon Lacy-Colson, Scheduled Care Clinical Director for Patient Safety at SaTH and Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, said: “The work being done by the teams to improve patient safety in our theatres has been fantastic. The light has been shone on every area – with an emphasis on the part that human factors play.

“Although serious incidents are very rare, it is incredibly important that we look deeply into what may cause them when they do happen in order to learn what we can do differently in future to prevent them from happening again.

“Patient safety is absolutely paramount and we have been looking at different ways of ensuring that we make our theatres as safe as they can possibly be, and we are now looking to embed those changes across both of our hospitals.”