SAASM is a peer-review process. Participation by consultant surgeons is a requirement of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program.
To start: SAASM is notified by the hospital of all deaths that occurred during a surgical admission (before, during or after surgery).
Next: SAASM sends an email notification to the treating surgeon with a link to complete the surgical case form. Surgical case forms are completed online using the Fellows Interface.
The surgical case form is:
- completed and submitted by the consultant surgeon or a registrar/trainee (under supervision), and
- de-identified and sent to a first-line assessor (a consultant surgeon; same speciality, 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 at this point (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 selected;
- medical records are requested by SAASM project staff;
- the second-line assessor then reviews the Surgical Case Form; the medical records; and the first-line assessor's comment, before writing a one-page report;
Note: The review is carried out and the report written in a spirit of sympathetic enquiry, 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.