Safety and Clinical Quality

Through the work of the Professional Affairs & Safety Committee (PAS) and the Board, the Faculty is involved with a number of clinical quality initiatives, some available through our standards work available here.


For updates on COVID-19, please see the joint COVID-19 website here


Coronavirus yellow card reporting site

The MHRA has launched a new dedicated reporting site for any suspected adverse drug reactions or side effects from medicines and adverse incidents involving medical equipment relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment.


Safety Alerts

27/04/2020: Potential Hazard: Report of used PPE white coveralls being supplied as new to ITU staff.

There has been a report of what appears to be packaged new PPE white coveralls supplied to an ITU, which when opened showed signs of previous use. The coverall appeared to be blood stained and another smelt of cigarette smoke. Please report any further occurrences to NHS Supply Chain and to, together with a photograph of the product, package details and supplier information, so that the incident can be investigated and products recalled. 

17/04/2020: COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)

14/04/2020: MHRA alert - There have been reports of serious harm to patients following modifications to CRRT circuits during the COVID pandemic.

"We have issued this alert, because we have had reports from manufacturers there have been cases of disposable sets being modified to keep machines out of rooms where patients with Covid-19 have been treated. We don’t have any examples of this happening in the UK, but where it has happened there have been errors apparently leading to fatalities.

We are also aware there have been cases of confusing haemofilters and plasma filters and we are working with manufacturers to mitigate this at this time of increased pressure.

We know there are other issues related to the delivery of renal replacement, such as needing to have additional anticoagulation because of the nature of these patients coagulation status. There have also been concerns if this is not done more filters are used than normal. We are/will be consulting further on this, but this is largely a clinical matter and we do not wish to overstep the mark as the regulator."

09/04/2020: update - Anaesthetic machines: off-label use during the COVID-19 pandemic (MDA/2020/012)

The hazards and difficulties of using anaesthetic machines as ventilators are highlighted in a government alert. The link is below. This includes links to some manufacturers.

02/04/20: National Patient Safety Alert - Blood control safety cannula and needle thoracostomy for tension pneumothorax

A National Patient Safety Alert (NatPSA), ‘Blood control safety cannula and needle thoracostomy for tension pneumothorax’, has been issued by the NHS England and NHS Improvement national patient safety team. 

The alert can be accessed via the following link

31/03/20: Use of high flow Oxygen therapy devices (including wall CPAP and high flow face mask or nasal oxygen) during the Coronavirus epidemic

A Central Alerting System (CAS) alert has just gone out about the oxygen supply / flow / pressure issues which may arise from using multiple high flow devices at the same time.

Invited Reviews

Invited Reviews are confidential reviews undertaken by Colleges and Faculties as a service offered to Trusts/Boards who feel they would benefit from a professional and independent opinion.

The Faculty follows the process and legal agreements of the Royal College of Anaesthetists on this area and more information is available on their webpage here.


Advisory Appointment Committees (AACs)

AACs are the name for the recruitment interviews for consultants in the UK.  As currently the majority of ICM consultant appointments are combined with anaesthetic sessions, the Royal College of Anaesthetists kindly administers all ICM requests for representation on AACs. 

Please visit the AAC page on the RCoA website here for further information, including guidance for RAs and assessors, and contacts.

Click here for Guidance on the approval of Job descriptions

Click here for a suggested criteria for Person Specifications

Considerations for AACs in light of COVID FAQs

Are we still required to have a Faculty representative sit on the AAC panel and will the Faculty be able to source a rep on our behalf?
  • Yes, they are required (and this is unlikely to change) and we are still able to find representatives on your behalf however this may be via videoconference rather than in person. 
  • Foundation Trusts are an exception to this requirement but the FICM strongly encourages these HR departments to seek Faculty input as best practice for quality assurance purposes.


Can the Faculty representative join via videoconference?
  • Yes.
  • In future, if this temporary change is found to be successful by AAC panels, it may become a more permanent arrangement and make it easier for us to find willing assessors due to the greatly reduced time commitment for this duty.


Is the Faculty still able to process JD approvals?
  • Yes, the normal process continues to run and all JDs should be sent to for approval.  This is the joint FICM/FPM/RCoA AAC helpdesk.


How do hospitals factor the change in working patterns in response to COVID within a JD?
  • We advise CDs to put in the expected post-COVID job plan (and appropriate PS) with a covering statement that until the pandemic has passed, a different and more flexible job plan may initially be worked by the successful candidate.
  • Consultants are long term appointments and their long-term interests along with the department’s should be considered in any job description above short term flexibility.