While most professional societies now recognise the value of guidelines, they also realise that they cannot be based on research evidence alone. Often, however, their systems of production are criticised as lacking both transparency and reliability and because they fail to take into account the level of available resources in individual institutions. For these reasons, their critics argue, guidelines are often unrepresentative and so will never achieve comprehensive and timely coverage of the health issue they intend to address. SSpRs in surgery represent a group of senior clinical decision makers whose job is continuously located at all direct points of delivery of patient care throughout a hospital. Furthermore, they have gained their clinical training and experience in a variety of units throughout the country. They therefore possess first hand working knowledge of the facilities available and are all too aware of the shortcomings of care inherent to the Irish hospital system. Finally, individual SSpRs are both exposed to, and actively involved in, the academic endeavour and clinical practice of a range of surgical sub-specialities at the same time as they are developing a focussed sub-specialist interest. Their invited submission of topics covering frequently encountered, important surgical issues is therefore to be welcomed with interest.
Medicine and Health Sciences | Surgery
Clinical Guidelines Committee. Care of Complex Surgical Cases Clinical Guidelines. Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 2005.