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Surgical standards

BOMSS unveils standards for professional care and ethics

Documents to ensure the highest standards of care for UK bariatric patients

The British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) has released two new documents outlining professionals standards aimed at helping surgeons achieve the highest possible level of conduct in bariatric practice.  According to the society, the BOMSS Code of Ethics and the BOMSS Professional Standards Document set new standards for bariatric specialists in this challenging area of surgery and healthcare.

“I am delighted to announce the publication of the BOMSS Code of Ethics and the BOMSS Professional Standards Document,” said Mr Richard Welbourn, President of BOMSS. “Bariatric surgery is challenging due to the large size of patients, restricted laparoscopic access and the unique physiology of the severely obese. Weight loss and metabolic surgery requires advanced skills and specific training and is already carried out to an extremely high standard in the UK. We are working to ensure the highest standards of care are carried forward.”

Mr Richard Welbourn

BOMSS Code of Ethics

The document examines the responsibility to patients – describing how surgeons must select appropriate candidates for bariatric surgical procedures, perform appropriate pre-operative evaluation, undertake procedures which have acceptable safety outcomes and ensure appropriate post-operative care and follow-up.

Another area covered by the new Code is Investigational Procedures, which are supported, as long as accepted national and local guidelines for human research are followed and patients fully understand the procedure. Data collection, analysis and the reporting of results are all mandatory.

Continuity of care is emphasised in the Code and, with regard to advertising, surgeons should ensure that they and organisations they work with, adhere to the BOMSS Statement on Current Advertising Practice for Bariatric Procedures. Declarations of financial interests is also covered in the new Code.

The BOMSS Code of Ethics is intended as a supplement to guidance contained in the General Medical Council’s publication, Good Medical Practice and the Royal College of Surgeons of England’s publication, Good Surgical Practice. It is adapted from the Code of Ethics of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

BOMSS Professional Standards Document

The BOMSS Professional Standards Document sets practitioner standards and facility standards for bariatric surgeons, including training, patient advocacy, team-working, equipment, safety and staff education.

The guidelines are available to download here:

BOMSS Code of Ethics

BOMSS Professional Standards Document

Both sets of guidance will be reviewed in 2015.

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