Patient safety

Call to Action

A call to action for all European health care practitioners was issued by the World Health Organization during the WHO European Region Safe Surgery Saves Lives workshop on 15 January 2009.

Professor the Lord Ara Darzi of Denham, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health in the United Kingdom said, "The impact of the checklist is very powerful. The drivers are very obvious. To make it happen we need collective leadership, team work, patient involvement, supportive organisations and joint accountability." By February 2010 all health care organizations in England and Wales will implement the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist for every patient undergoing a surgical procedure.

Speaking for Scotland, Jason Leitch said, "We recognise the substantive contribution of WHO and of the surgical checklist. We look forward to a continuing dialogue and will continue to drive to have a checklist in use in every theatre across Scotland."

Dr Jim Livingstone representing Northern Ireland said, "It is acknowledged that no health and social care environment will ever be absolutely safe and without risk. However, the checklist builds on ongoing work to improve the safety and quality of care provided and we are committed to implement this important initiative."

Speaking for the wider European Region, Dr Michael Stark of the New European Surgical Academy said, "I would ask that we all go back to our respective countries and that we work to implement the checklist in every operating theatre possible."

"By the end of 2009, we will be routinely using the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist in at least three hospitals in every single country in the region. Let us make this happen."