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In Patient Safety Alert 6, The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) stated that “across the NHS, there is no single standard method for marking a surgical site, which increases the likelihood of confusion and error. Despite high professional standards and excellent best practice at a local level, safety can be improved by using a consistent national standard for pre-operative marking and a verification checklist”.1
The deadline for consideration/implementation of these NPSA guidelines (or a robust local alternative) was 16 March 2005. We attempted to ascertain to what extent standardisation in preoperative marking exists within ophthalmology by surveying a sample of UK consultant ophthalmologists in March 2006.
Questionnaires were sent to consultants in randomly chosen geographical regions. The …