Quality & Patient Safety

UK: A quarter of NHS acute trusts fail to use new WHO surgery checklists

Patient Safety Monitor: Global Edition, March 3, 2009

Six months after the launch of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new pre-operative checklist, a quarter of National Health Service (NHS) acute trusts have yet to introduce it, according to a Nursing Times.net. The WHO checklist requires a time out prior to any surgery, pre-anesthesia “sign-in” checks, and post-procedure “sign-out” checks.

The statistics revealed by a Freedom of Information request, show that 24% of the NHS trusts in England failed to abide by the new checklist, 51% had implemented only some of the checklist protocol, and 24% are fully compliant of the checklist. Such results caused the National Patient Safety Agency to demand that by February 2010, all trusts in England and Wales, must implement an NHS-adapted version of the WHO checklist.

An international report published in January's New England Journal of Medicine found complications were reduced by 36% and mortality by 46% in hospitals where the WHO checklist was implemented.

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