By: 19 July 2021
MDU and CORESS partner to promote safety in surgical practice

The Medical Defence Union (MDU), the UK’s leading medical defence organisation, has launched a new partnership with the Confidential Reporting System for Surgery (CORESS) an independent charity which promotes safety in surgical practice in the NHS and the private sector.

Founded in 2005, CORESS receives confidential incident reports from surgeons and theatre staff. These confidential reports are published to educate fellow surgeons and to reduce the chances of a similar incident re-occurring in the future. CORESS serves all surgical disciplines and focuses on improving services rather than appointing blame.

This focus on sharing lessons learned from unexpected or adverse incidents in surgical practice is an objective that both CORESS and the MDU share. Consequently, this reciprocal arrangement will see the MDU and CORESS collaborate on a number of projects and events including Mr Jerard Ross, medico-legal adviser at the MDU participating in the recent 2021 CORESS Safety in Surgery Symposium.

Mr Ross said: “It is a fact of medical life that not everything goes to plan. Sometimes one clinical incident can result in several different medicolegal issues which can be hard for doctors to manage.

“As a doctor-led organisation the MDU understands this which is why whenever our members’ contact us, they always speak to a fellow clinician. MDU advisors are specialised in supporting our members through what can be traumatic periods in their professional life. As part of this we encourage members to reflect on events and share any learning with colleagues.

“Consequently, we are looking forward to working with CORESS to ensure that doctors are supported to learn from incidents and that this learning is disseminated to as wide an audience as possible.”

Professor Frank Smith, CORESS Programme Director added: “CORESS is dedicated to making surgery safer by encouraging clinical staff to anonymously submit reports of cases where things went wrong or turned out to be near-misses.

“Unlike mandatory reporting systems, CORESS does not systematically analyse and feedback information to NHS organisations. Rather, CORESS aims to provide individual feedback to surgeons and to the surgical community in general.

“We believe that our work aligns closely with that of the MDU, and we look forward to developing this partnership in the future.”

To learn more about the partnership between the MDU and CORESS, read the latest issue of the MDU journal 

Click here to watch the 2021 CORESS Safety in Surgery Symposium on demand.