Your Patient Safety: Resources and Information for Patients

RCSEd is committed to the global health priority of patient safety and for World Patient Safety Day we want to continue this by providing you, the public, with more key information and resources.

The College's Patient Safety Group (PSG) will cover a wide variety of patient safety issues by providing resources and guides to help patients, surgeons, teams, and organisations build an understanding of best practice and where they can seek further information on their conditions.

You will find clinician support guides below providing best practice for patients, generic principles of care, an ideal patient journey and, how to protect vulnerable groups and ensure equity of access. 

The PSG have written blogs covering many aspects in patient safety and health across the world.

There are 9 subspecialty groups that include useful resources and links to healthcare organisations for patients to find further information on their specific conditions.

All of the work of The College is underpinned by a commitment to improving patient safety. See more on what we do here:

Patients Seeking Advice

When your GP refers you to see a surgeon, it is likely that this appointment will take place in hospital. Hospitals can be busy, overwhelming places if you have not been before, so do arrive with plenty of time to spare, and do not be frightened to ask a member of staff if you are unsure of where your appointment will be held. Your appointment letter should have details of the department and part of the hospital where your appointment is, including who you will be seeing. If you are anxious about your appointment it may be a good idea to bring someone with you provided this is in line with the hospital’s policy.

During your appointment you will be a seen by a consultant, or a member of his or her team. There might sometimes be another health professional like a nurse, dietician or care assistant present depending on the type of clinic. Some appointments may be held virtually, but rest assured that the same high standard of care will be provided by your health professional. In these cases, it is important that you ensure you have a quiet space with a good internet connection to ensure your appointment goes as smoothly as possible.

During your consultation, your surgeon will ask questions about your health concern, will examine you, and may ask that you undergo some additional tests to give him or her more information about your condition.

Your surgeon is there to help, so if you have any questions or concerns please share them with him or her. Some people find it useful to write these down before their appointment, and also to write notes about what their surgeon has said. After your appointment your surgeon may choose to see you again in a follow up appointment, list you for surgery, refer you to another specialist, or discharge you if they feel you do not need to be seen again. Your surgeon will usually write to your GP or the health professional who referred you to let them know the outcome of your appointment. You can however request a copy of that letter be sent to your home, as some people find this useful for record keeping purposes.

Best Practice Guide Tables 

Ideal Patient Journey: How to ensure your service provides the best possible journey for your patients

How to protect Vulnerable Groups and Ensure Equity of Access

Resources and Information on Patient Conditions

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