PERFORMANCE: Care Quality Commission inspectors are now satisfied with the safety of Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust’s operating theatres.

The trust was given 28 days to improve following an inspection in May which was sparked after the trust reported its fifth never event in its operating theatres in 18 months. Inspectors found staff were not routinely using the surgical safety checklist recommended by the World Health Organization and the National Patient Safety Agency.

However, during a further unannounced visit on 14 July a CQC team observed 12 operations and found safety checks were being carried out in a “satisfactory and consistent way”.

CQC director of operations Amanda Sherlock said: “On our first inspection we saw numerous examples where surgical safety checks were not being carried out properly within the operating theatres.

“As an example, we noticed that the way swabs were collected and counted varied between operating theatres. This puts people at risk because staff who move from one theatre to another will be unfamiliar with each system and so are more likely to make mistakes.

She added: “Our latest inspection told a completely different story. The trust has now introduced the standardised surgical safety checklist across all its theatres and we saw 12 examples where the surgical safety checks were being carried out in a satisfactory and consistent way.”