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Government recommends new surgical guidelines for nurses

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Nurses have a pivotal role in ensuring operations have been carried out and completed safely under new guidelines announced today by the government.

The report by the Chief Medical Officer for England Sir Liam Donaldson, backed the use of the World Health Organisation surgical safety checklist in operations.

Under the terms of the checklist, nurses will have to give pre-operative hygiene and equipment reports.

They will also confirm the name of the patient, the site of the operation and the procedure being performed.

Once the operation is finished, they will verbally confirm the name of the procedure is recorded, that instrument, sponge and needle counts are correct, how the specimen is labelled and whether there are any equipment problems to be addressed.

They will then review with the surgeon and anaesthesia professional any concerns for the recovery and management of the patient.

Sir Liam also called for nursing organisations to become involved in a clinical board for surgical safety, which will be created by the National Patient Safety Agency.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I have concerns that the government are just trying to score points as I understood that these measures addressed today are alreaady standardised procedures. Unfortunately time contraints, work pressures and staffing levels equalling potential human error are what the government should be focusing on and addressing in order to help improve patient care and maintain the NHS as the one health concept the world is envious of.

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  • As a very experienced theatre nurse and having recently attended the Patient safety Summit where Sir Liam Donaldson spoke , I strongly agree that nursing must take patient safety seriously and campaign with the patient safety agency for this.I am the risk lead for theatres and there are many occaisions where there is a conflict of interests most importantly patient safety and decisions are not always made in favour of this.

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