Medical & Surgical

NCEPOD has been commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) to undertake the Medical & Surgical Programme on behalf of NHS England, DHSSPS Northern Ireland, the Welsh Government, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The Medical & Surgical programme is one of four Clinical Outcome Review Programmes which are designed to help assess the quality of healthcare, and stimulate improvement in safety and effectiveness by systematically enabling clinicians, managers and policy makers to learn from adverse events and other relevant data. The other programmes are;

This programme began in 1988 as a co-operation between the Association of Anaesthetists and the Association of Surgeons who established a National Confidential Enquiry into Perioperative Deaths with an aim to examine the quality of care delivered to surgical and anaesthetic patients who had died in hospital within 30 days of a surgical procedure.

In 1999 the programme transferred to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and further to a consultation in 2002 the remit of the programme was extended to review the care received by medical patients as well as surgical patients. In addition, near miss morbidity cases were included as well as cases of mortality.

The primary aims of the programme are:

  • To highlight remediable factors in the care of patients across medical and surgical clinical topic areas to support improvement in the delivery of care to patients at both local and national level, as well as to improve patient outcomes and service delivery.
  • To support commissioning and service redesign by helping commissioners understand their opportunities to improve outcomes for patients.
  • To ensure service users, their families and carers and representative organisations are at the centre of the development and delivery of the work programme.
  • To ensure clinical buy in and influence practice change at individual clinician/allied health professional level.
  • To highlight issues requiring policy change at a national level and provide recommendations on such changes.
A protocol to describe the key features of the Medical and Surgical Clinical Outcome Review Programme can be found here: Understanding Practice in Clinical Outcome Review Programmes tool (UPCORP) - guidance and checklist