Our safety commitment | Association of Anaesthetists
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Our safety commitment

Our safety commitment

The motto of the Association of Anaesthetists is 'In somno securitas' or 'Safe in sleep' and we remain committed to keeping both patients and anaesthetists safe.

Every anaesthetist aims to keep their patients safe We aim to safeguard every anaesthetist – by educating, supporting and inspiring you through your career.

Our vision

To promote safe anaesthesia through the provision of information, education, guidance and expert advice to anaesthetists and healthcare stakeholders.

We are the leading publisher of safety guidelines and consensus statements, which are disseminated and communicated widely in Anaesthesia and online via our website and apps, as well as direct distribution to the NHS and stakeholder organisations. 

Safety committee

The Association has a Safety Committee that provides expert opinion on safety issues highlighted by members, the pharmaceutical industry, and equipment manufacturers. The committee has been in the vanguard of safety in healthcare since it was founded in 1974.

The committee liaises with the Department of Health and Social Care, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the National Patient Safety Agency, the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the medical defence organisations on safety matters.

Over the years the committee has made major contributions to anaesthesia safety, including:

  • The introduction of standards of monitoring in anaesthesia
  • Standards for obstetric anaesthesia
  • Training of anaesthetic assistants
  • Standards for checking anaesthetic equipment
  • Publishing safety guidelines

You can browse and download all of our standards and guidelines

The Association also runs the Anaesthesia Equipment Standards Committee, which provides a forum for anaesthetists and industry representatives involved in standards work. 

It aims to form links with standards organisations including the British Standards Institute (BSI); the European Standards Committee (CEN), and the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

NHS standards – apply for funding

It's vital that NHS clinicians take part in standards work to improve the quality and safety of care offered by the NHS. 

You can apply for NHS funding to attend standards meetings, however, the Association offers travel grants when this funding is not available. 

Applications for the travel grant are open to members of the Anaesthesia Equipment Standards Committee. Download an application form for the Association travel grant.

Safe Anaesthesia Liaison Group

The Safe Anaesthesia Liaison Group (SALG) highlights potential or existing patient safety issues to those practising anaesthesia. Part of this remit is to encourage incident reporting for the purpose of learning.

The purpose of the Safe Anaesthesia Liaison Group

  • To review anaesthesia specific incidents reported to NHS Improvement and other UK national healthcare safety bodies
  • To provide regular reports (SALG Patient Safety Update) for wider dissemination and to assist in establishing action, training and education needs
  • To support the development of the new Patient Safety Incident Management System in enabling learning by specialties
  • To maintain a mechanism of prioritising, advising and taking appropriate action for specific anaesthesia incidents as appropriate through the core expert group.
  • To maintain a mechanism of prioritising and taking appropriate action as advised by the coroner’s court in matters relating to anaesthesia
  • To maintain and support the SALG Safety Link Leads, as a national safety network linking with other quality, research and educational network leads within the specialty
  • To ensure RCoA/Association of Anaesthetists representation on the NHSI National Patient Safety Response Advisory Panel and that written support for draft Patient Safety Alerts is provided routinely 
  • To provide a central reference point for calls and enquiries from healthcare professionals, the media and patients through the SALG Administrator
  • To maintain confidentiality at all times, no individual incidents will be discussed by patient or hospital identifiers, and all incidents will remain anonymous, and referred to by the incident ID number
  • Where serious causes for concern are raised (including incidents that indicate less than good practice) the co-leads will deal with each case appropriately 
  • Where appropriate, to work closely with national safety bodies in other disciplines including those outside of healthcare e.g. the Health and Safety Executive
  • To evaluate anaesthesia safety reports for further investigation, research or audit
  • To evaluate Healthcare Services Safety Investigation Board reports relevant to anaesthesia and to act on recommendations arising
  • To convene task groups in order that specific safety issues can be addressed in detail
  • To encourage and oversee formal training and mentoring of advanced training in anaesthesia safety