NTASM is a peer-review process. Participation by consultant surgeons is a requirement of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program.
To start: NTASM is notified by the hospital of all surgically-related deaths (before, during or after surgery).
The Surgical Case form is:
- completed by the consultant surgeon or delegated to a registrar
- returned to NTASM electronically using the Fellows Interface
- de-identified and sent to a first-line assessor (a consultant surgeon: same specialty, different hospital) for anonymous peer-review.
If a second-line assessment (case note review) is not requested by the first-line assessor, the original surgeon will be sent written feedback to this effect (and the case will be closed).
If a second-line assessment (case note review) is requested by the first-line assessor that is, the case needs further investigation or insufficient information has been provided on the surgical case form then these steps are followed:
- a second-line assessor is chosen by NTASM's Clinical Director;
- medical records are requested;
- the second-line assessor then reviews the surgical case form (PDF 250.49KB) the medical records and the first-line assessor's comment, before writing a one or two-page report. Note: The review is carried out and the report written in a spirit of sympathetic inquiry, providing sufficient details for a clear view of events;
- the report and relevant feedback is sent to the original surgeon. The case is then closed, and
- at each stage of the process the original surgeon has right of reply.