Although UK law does not dictate what system or method of swab, instrument and needle count should be performed, best practice and evidence based practice advocates the need to apply a logical process to enable practitioner’s to identify errors in the process. The safeguard of the patient is paramount and processes must be in place to ensure that no foreign body is retained by accident in any patient.
This policy has been developed to ensure that:
Operative Counts, which includes, swabs, needles, instruments and extra’s are accurate and everything is accounted for at all times during a surgical procedure.
It applies to all patients undergoing any type of intervention/surgical procedure within Salisbury District Hospital.
To identify good clinical practice within theatres and to ensure the health and safety of patients through their journey within the operating theatre.
To reduce the incident of a “never event” and promote engagement in the World Health Organisation (WHO) checklist process.
The Royal College of Surgeons in their Good Surgical Practice (2008) states that “surgeons work in partnership with others in the health care team – which includes other professional, technicians, support staff and management – in order to offer safe and effective care to patients. They must work to develop effective relationships, respecting the professionalism of all colleagues. Knowledge and understanding of, and respect for, the roles and views of others are essential to achieving good patient outcomes.”
The NMC Code of Conduct (2007) states that “as a professional, you are personally accountable for actions and omissions in your practices and must always be able to justify your decisions.”
The Health Professions Council (2008) states that as a professional “you must act within the limits of your knowledge, skills and experience and. If necessary, refer the matter to another practitioner and that you must communicate properly and effectively with service users and other practitioners.”