Royal College of Surgeons Report

Published May 2013

Why did the Royal College of Surgeons write a report on our surgical services?

We invited the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) to visit the Trust because we wanted to seek advice including validation of considered concerns in some areas of service delivery and training in general surgery. We wished to seek advice where any areas of concern were substantiated and would benefit from actions to remedy and improve. We in addition wished the RCS to advise on how our future services in general surgery might need to be developed to sustain a high quality service.

The RCS reports are available to read at the links below:

  • Report by the Royal College of Surgeons - Emergency General Surgical Services
  • Report by the Royal College of Surgeons - General Surgical Services
  • RCS response to Trust's comments on the Emergency General Surgical Services Review
  • RCS response to Trust's comment on the General Surgical Service Review

What have we done as a result?

We have already put in place a number of changes to our general surgery service, including:

  • an immediate investment of over £600K for new consultant posts across East Kent in recognition of the high levels of activity
  • increased clinical leadership on each site, with Mr Samer Doughan and Mr Sanjoy Basu supporting Mr Noel Wilson (Divisional Medical Director).

We have also developed an action plan to address the remaining issues. This includes:

  • revitalising support to emergency care and training within general surgery across East Kent, led by the Divisional Medical Director and supported by a senior surgeon to be recommended by the RCS
  • clarification of clinical pathways of care
  • enhanced monitoring of outcomes.

You can read the RCS action plan here.

Since the RCS review, we have had further comments from the Training Committee of the Kent Surrey and Sussex Deanery, which coordinates the delivery and funding of postgraduate medical education in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. It has endorsed our action plan and added suggestions about trainees at the William Harvey Hospital.

When we will see changes?

It is expected that progress against the key objectives in the action plan will be met within six months. The Trust’s Board of Directors will receive regular progress reports, the first in July.

What will the Trust do about the Royal College’s recommendations for a single site for high and medium risk surgical services?

The Royal College of Surgeons has agreed that the current configuration of high and medium risk surgical services in East Kent must change.

Their report raises a number of questions about the future configuration of services in East Kent which we need to continue to discuss with our partners and stakeholders. Any major changes will require public consultation, but we are not yet at the stage where we have defined options for consultation.