RCSEd response to ‘Surgeons demand of clarity on private hospital safety’

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10 Apr 2019

RCSEd response to ‘Surgeons demand of clarity on private hospital safety’

 Patient safety is at the core of all activity carried out by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd). The delivery of this activity is the responsibility of the entire surgical team, and decisions about the nature of that care must involve all members of that team, as well as the patient themselves.  

It is imperative we adhere to safe and productive working measures and through a number of initiatives from RCSEd, these all point towards improving patient safety.  The RCSEd bullying and undermining campaign #LetsRemoveIt looks at many issues that can often be the root cause of such problems, the #LetsRemoveIt campaign exists to address these to both ensure patient safety and support of our surgical professionals.   

The learnings RCSEd has taken from the Ian Paterson case, have been addressed by Professor Sir Ian Kennedy QC, on delivering his lecture ‘McKeown Lecture – Lessons from the Paterson Case’ which brings the issues addressed in the college anti bullying and undermining campaign to the forefront

‘All surgery involves a team. Paterson was not a team player. He was a bully, prone to ignoring his colleagues or belittling their views.’  

Nurses and radiologists concerned with Paterson’s conduct should have pressed their concerns, but the NHS Trust did not have any policy or procedures to which they could turn.’

While the College cannot implement all changes itself, the recommendations are being made broadly to the wider profession and lobbied at a political level, along with other medical organisations, colleges, and key stakeholders in healthcare, with the objective of protecting the health and lives of the surgical workforce and its patients. In meeting these objectives, RCSEd is working collaboratively with a number of such healthcare organisations to continue to address bullying and undermining in the workplace and to move forward this collaborative activity

President of RCSEd, Professor S Michael Griffin said:

“Standards in Private hospitals need to match those of the NHS. Teamwork, discussion, mutual respect and challenging behaviours will give the confidence to professionals to feel supported to speak out if they are uncomfortable with any element of their environment.  As professionals, we have a duty to protect our patients from damaging and unnecessary treatments.”


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