STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Surgeons should ‘let patients choose’ to avoid litigation, new guidance states

Surgeons should stop being “paternalistic” towards patients and instead simply give them their options and “let them choose”, according to new guidance for medics.

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has warned that if NHS trusts do not make changes to the processes they use to gain consent before surgery, they risk facing a dramatic increase in the number of litigation payouts. In the wake of a landmark-ruling at the Supreme Court last year, which changed the rules of gaining patient consent, it has published new instructions for its 20,000 members.

Leslie Hamilton, a Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) council member, said the changes introduced by the case of Nadine Montgomery, who won a £5.25m payout in 2015, were a “real wake-up call”. He said: “It is really about focusing on the individual patient,” adding: “We now need to sit down and tell the patient all the other options and let the patient choose and not tell them.”

Ms Montgomery won the money from Lanarkshire Health Board in Scotland after accusing medics of failing to properly advise her of the risks of being a “diabetic of small stature” before she gave birth to son Samuel. He was born with serious disabilities as a result of complications during delivery in 1999 and she argued if she had been advised of the risk of shoulder dystocia – when a baby’s shoulders are too wide to pass through the pelvis – she would have had a caesarean.

NHS practice has traditionally been to leave it to doctors to decide what risks to communicate to patients – in what the RCS called a more “paternalistic approach”.

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Surgeons should take a less 'paternalistic' approach, the RCS has advised

Surgeons should take a less ‘paternalistic’ approach, the RCS has advised

Filed under: Hospital, NHS,

World first as surgeons spot a brain tumour – with a ‘bleeping pen’: Laser helps surgeons tell the difference between healthy and cancerous tissue

Surgeons often describe the tricky operation to remove a brain tumour as ‘trying to pluck a spider out of jelly’. Take out too little and the cancerous ‘legs’ remain and regrow – but take out too much and there is a risk of cutting away healthy tissue and leaving the patient disabled.

Now a British hospital is trialling a laser that bleeps like a parking sensor on a car when the scalpel gets to the edge of the cancerous areas, letting surgeons know their margins for error. In a world first, neurosurgeons at London’s Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have started using the pen-like probe, called the Core, which shines a near-infrared light on to a tumour and scans for subtle differences between healthy and cancerous tissue.  The device can read the differences in less than a second, and gives a warning sound if the surgeon is close to healthy tissue. About 16,000 Britons are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year, and more children and adults under 40 die from the condition than from any other cancer. There are more than 120 types.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3015974/World-surgeons-spot-brain-tumour-bleeping-pen-Laser-helps-surgeons-tell-difference-healthy-cancerous-tissue.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , , , ,

Surgeons who refuse to publish their death rates will be punished and some will quit says NHS boss

Surgeons who refuse to publish patient death rates will face penalties, a boss at NHS England has said.  Patients will be able to compare the success rate of around 5,000 consultants when data relating to procedures is published on website My NHS this week. But roughly 2,500 surgeons do not publish this information – which provides details including mortality rates and complications in surgery. Some surgeons have warned the move could lead to consultants refusing to take on difficult cases and argue the statistics do not take full account of the circumstances of each operation.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2836486/Surgeons-refuse-publish-death-rates-punished-quit-says-NHS-boss.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Three NHS surgeons named are banned but still working say The Telegraph

Three NHS surgeons have been banned from using a keyhole technique to operate on cancer patients after the procedure led to at least five deaths, The Telegraph has learnt, but despite the ban, all three surgeons are still being allowed to carry out a wide range of other surgical procedures at NHS hospitals run by the trust. They are also working privately

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10806560/Families-angry-surgeons-still-working-for-NHS-despite-deaths-of-five-patients.html

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , ,

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