National Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures (NatSSIPs)

One of the recommendations of the Surgical Never Events Taskforce report was to develop a set of high-level national standards of operating department practice that will support all providers of NHS-funded care to develop and maintain their own more detailed standardised local procedures.

The National Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures (NatSSIPs) were published in September 2015 to support NHS organisations in providing safer care and to reduce the number of patient safety incidents related to invasive procedures in which surgical Never Events can occur. The NatSSIPs cover all invasive procedures including those performed outside of the operating department.

What are the NatSSIPs?

The NatSSIPs bring together national and local learning from the analysis of Never Events, Serious Incidents and near misses through a set of recommendations that will help provide safer care for patients undergoing invasive procedures. This does not in any way replace the existing WHO Surgical Checklist, but rather enhances it by looking at additional factors such as the need for education and training.

The principle behind the NatSSIPs is that organisations will review their current local processes for invasive procedures and ensure that they are compliant with the new national standards. This will be done by organisations working in collaboration with staff to develop their own set of ‘Local Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures’ (LocSSIPs).

View the NatSSIPs frequently asked questions (updated May 2016) to find out more.

View the letter sent to all NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts introducing the NatSSIPs.

Who was involved in the development of the NatSSIPs

The NatSSIPs have been developed by a multidisciplinary group of clinical practitioners, professional leaders, human factors experts and patient representatives. External experts have commented on our various drafts, which were also sent to selected hospitals for input before testing in a number of different procedural areas. Detailed input has also been received from trust chief executives and medical directors, and others who will be responsible for their implementation.

You can read the full membership of the NatSSIPs reference group here.

Support for the NatSSIPs

Healthcare organisations, royal colleges, the regulatory bodies, and the system leadership of the NHS have committed to endorse and support these standards, to build them into their own guidance and training, and to make sure that their implementation makes a real difference to patients.

You can view the statements of commitment from supporting organisations here.

Patient Safety Alert

To support trusts with the implementation of the standards, we have issued a ‘Stage 2: Resource’ – NHS England Patient Safety Alert ‘Supporting the introduction of the National Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures‘. The Alert not only requires each relevant organisation to take local action to put the standards in place, but also calls for organisations to share their own local plans so that trusts can learn from one another and put proven best practice in place. These exemplar plans will be posted on the website as and when they become available.

Update on NatSSIPs Patient Safety Alert

We are aware of some confusion over the actions required by the September 2016 deadline in the patient Safety Alert ‘Supporting the introduction of the National Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures‘. The fourth action in the alert asks organisations to “Commence implementation of procedures and practice compliant with LocSSIPS (Local Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures) within cycles of continuous improvement including consideration of teamwork and training, human factors and cultural aspects of compliance”. There is no expectation for organisations to have fully implemented all their LocSSIPs by September 2016 but they should be able to demonstrate that implementation has commenced.

Resources and guidance

There are a range of existing resources and guidance produced by various organisations that can be used to support the implementation of the NatSSIPs and development of Local Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures (LocSSIPs).

Published guidance included in the NatSSIPs

Further information

If you require further details or have any questions please email the NHS England Patient Safety Domain patientsafety.enquiries@nhs.net.