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10 for 2010: Five steps to safer surgery

No avoidable harm associated with perioperative care, to be achieved by supporting implementation of Five Steps to Safer Surgery programme.


A core set of safety checks, initiated at safety critical time points within the patients care pathway, have been identified in the form of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist for use in any operating theatre environment with the caveat that it can be adapted to fit local practice. 

The checklist is not designed as a tick box exercise. It is a tool to initiate meaningful and purposeful conversation between relevant members of the clinical team to improve the safety of surgery.


From experience and feedback over the last year, the addition of team brief and debriefing sessions at the beginning and the end of theatre lists, (advocated by the Patient Safety First Campaign,) are key to succeeding in the cultural change required and are now supported by NPSA as a vital adjunct to the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist.


Resources and materials are available below to support this 10 for 2010 programme