Over 1,000 surgeries completed by Versius robot

Ockenden Review ‘must be acted upon immediately’ say Royal Colleges

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives have called for action following the publication of a damning report on failures at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust. Responding to the Ockenden review of maternity services at the Trust, the Royal Colleges said that strong leadership, challenging poor workplace culture, and ring-fencing maternity funding will be key to improving safety.

The RCOG and RCM welcomed the

Review and its recognition of the need to challenge poor working relationships, improve funding and access to multidisciplinary training and, crucially, to listen to women and their families to improve learning and to ensure tragedies, such as those that have happened at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, never occur again. The Colleges have said that the local actions for learning and the immediate and essential actions laid out in this report must be read and acted upon immediately. RCM chief executive, Gill Walton, said: “We are committed to improving safety within all maternity services. The recommendations

and actions contained in this report are key to ensuring lessons from these devastating tragedies are learned – and acted upon. Teams delivering care must be better at working together.

“I cannot emphasise enough the

importance of respectful team working to build a supportive workplace culture. That starts with teams training together, not simply staying in their professional corners. That sense of partnership needs to extend beyond Trust and Board boundaries too. It is crucial that those who are struggling can learn from those services doing well to improve safety.” Failures in interpretation and action in response to fetal monitoring are a leading contributory factor in many cases of avoidable harm. The RCM and the RCOG are advocating for a standardised national programme, delivered locally by trained experts, that would see high quality clinical simulation combined with structured organisational learning interventions, to improve systems, culture and behaviour supportive of appropriate fetal monitoring interpretation and response.

CMR Surgical (CMR) has announced the successful completion of over 1,000 in- human surgeries with the Versius Surgical Robotic System worldwide. Since 2018, Versius has created significant opportunity for greater adoption of minimal access surgery (MAS) and has been used to perform a broad range of procedures – from complex cholecystectomies to hysterectomies – across its early adopting centres.

Having initially launched in India,

a country internationally renowned for laparoscopic surgery, CMR’s global footprint has increased significantly, with hospitals across Europe and Asia acquiring Versius over the last 18 months. The surgical cases completed using Versius are being captured within CMR’s clinical registry to ensure patient safety, and in the long-term, support surgical standards. Professor Raj Nagarkar from HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, India, who recently completed the 1000th clinical case, said: “Since the introduction of Versius at our centre in the last year, we have conducted over 300 robotic assisted surgeries, including complex cancer resection. We are seeing clear patient benefits including reduced pain, and length of stay. Additionally, the open console means I can operate comfortably, helping to reduce physical tiredness from surgery. The adaptability and dexterity of Versius means it can be adopted by hospitals around the world – ultimately benefiting many patients.”

Quantitative COVID-19 test to measure neutralising antibodies

Siemens Healthineers has announced its SARS-CoV-2 IgG Antibody Test (sCOVG) has proven to measure neutralising antibodies and has achieved CE Mark. The test is an enhanced version of the assay which became available globally this summer. It demonstrates the ability to detect neutralising antibodies and reports quantitative results measuring the amount of neutralising antibodies present in a patient’s blood sample. The company has also submitted an application to FDA under Emergency Use Authorisation in the US. Neutralising antibodies are critical in the fight against COVID-19 because they defend cells from infection by the virus. A virus typically produces an immune response of many antibodies that act as an army

to help fight off the virus; however, only a small subset of those antibodies are capable of neutralisation, blocking the virus from infecting additional cells. Those neutralising antibodies develop either in response to natural infection or to vaccination, then subsequently bind to the virus and block infection. To measure a vaccine’s effectiveness, it is critical to identify both the presence of these neutralising antibodies, as well as quantitatively assess the likely level needed to protect against future encounters with the virus. The antibody test from Siemens Healthineers will make learning this information possible as vaccines are rolled out and exposure to COVID-19 is tested against immunisation and the level of


immunity a vaccine provides. “At the onset of the pandemic, the scientific community had to learn about COVID-19 and how our immune systems would respond. We targeted the spike protein for our antibody tests, anticipating antibodies to this protein would eventually prove to be neutralising,” commented Stewart Hutton, business lead for laboratory diagnostics at Siemens Healthineers GB&I. “Adequate data is available now to confirm the spike protein antibodies are indeed neutralising, especially those against the spike receptor binding domain. Our test will help healthcare providers determine whether a patient’s immune system is producing the right antibodies to stop or prevent COVID-19 infection.”


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