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Patient Safety

Standards of practice and guidelines for ophthalmic care are available from the College and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The maintenance of such standards in ophthalmology at organisational level is achieved through adequate staffing levels and skill mix, proper facilities and appropriate resourcing, and good managerial support. Strict attention to detail and careful consideration of the patient pathway is needed to maintain and to enhance ophthalmic patient care and service delivery.

The Professional Standards Committee and its Quality and Safety Group regularly issues clinical statements or advice for ophthalmologists and related professionals to help enhance patient safety or share information.

The National Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures (NatSSIPs) were published in September 2015 by NHS England to support NHS organisations in providing safer care and to reduce the number of patient safety incidents related to invasive procedures in which surgical Never Events can occur. The NatSSIPs cover all invasive procedures including those performed outside of the operating department. All organisations should have a local document, LocSSIPs, and it is good practice for those undertaking a lot of ophthlamic surgical activity to have either an ophthalmic LocSSIP or an ophthalmic specific section within their organisation’s main document.

Check Lists:

Surgical checklists represent a relatively simple strategy for addressing surgical patient safety worldwide. The RCOphth/WHO cataract surgery checklist has been in use for some time and is often adapted for local use.

Many centres have also adapted the checklist model for other procedures and some have kindly agreed to share these examples via the College website for others to use or adapt:

Members wishing to contribute to other examples or have any thoughts on similar resources that it might be useful to share regarding local documents pertinent to patient safety, please send them to the College’s Quality and Safety Group via beth.barnes@rcophth.ac.uk

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