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RCP comments on NCEPOD report

RCP registrar Dr Patrick Cadigan, commenting on the new National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) report Knowing the risk, said:

The RCP notes with concern the results of this important study which has demonstrated serious deficiencies in the care of patients around the time of surgery.

The care of these patients could be improved by the greater involvement of consultant physicians and the wider multidisciplinary team, and by changes to the organisation of care in hospitals. This would particularly help older patients and those with multiple medical conditions, where effective management of the patients’ non-surgical problems can improve survival rates and help the patient recover more quickly. The RCP believes that this study further reinforces the message from the 2010 NCEPOD report on elective and emergency surgery in the elderly which called for greater involvement of physicians in peri-operative management.

A quarter of hospitals in the study were not using an early warning score to identify patients whose condition is deteriorating quickly following surgery. In early 2012 the RCP will launch a National Early Warning Score that can be used by any hospital to identify these patients, an initiative that is intended to save lives and improve outcomes.


For further information, please contact Linda Cuthbertson, head of PR, on +44 (0)203 075 1254 / 0774 877 7919, or email Linda.Cuthbertson@rcplondon.ac.uk