Health Professions: Operating Theatres

(asked on 13th June 2018) - View Source

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the the potential merits of NHS England making huddles mandatory for all medical staff at the start of the day in operating theatres.


Answered by
Caroline Dinenage Portrait
Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
This question was answered on 18th June 2018

The use of the World Health Organization (WHO) safety checklist for surgical interventions is universally acknowledged to be best practice and is well supported by the relevant Royal Colleges and professional associations. Trusts are expected to track performance against elements and stages of the checklist. There are three stages: ‘sign in’, ‘time out’ and ‘sign out’.

Huddles correspond to the ‘time out’ stage of checklist completion. Failure to use this part of the checklist would be flagged through Care Quality Commission inspection or staff concerns, and would be viewed by NHS Improvement as a serious deficiency in a trust’s safety standards.

However, as with a number of procedures that are considered best practice, mandating the WHO safety checklist for all surgical interventions across the whole of the health service at all times could give rise to unintended risk on those occasions when there is a need to act immediately to save life and a delay in surgical action could be detrimental.

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
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