Front page of multidisciplinary working in perioperative care published by CPOC

Today CPOC publishes the second in a series of evidence reviews that are helping to make the case for perioperative care. 

Following our first review on the impact of perioperative care, we now explore the benefits of multidisciplinary team working in supporting surgical patients. We searched 14 bibliographic databases and screened more than 18,000 articles, summarising learning from 236 studies to develop the review. Dr David Selwyn, CPOC’s Director, said:

“This report explores the important role that multidisciplinary working plays in the perioperative care pathway. It teases out the ‘ingredients’ for successful team working and identifies the barriers and enablers – at system, organisational, team and individual level. The report finds that there is some evidence that multidisciplinary working can: 

•    Speed access to surgery
•    Improve people’s clinical outcomes
•    reduce surgical care costs by helping people leave hospital earlier.

Various types of multidisciplinary working are discussed, including: 

•    MDT meetings where professionals review and plan a patient’s care together
•    Clinics where patients visit different professionals on the same day for holistic care
•    Integrated perioperative care pathways implemented by multidisciplinary teams
•    Adding specific support from disciplines such as nursing, geriatric medicine, allied health professions or primary care before or after surgery
•    Formal integration of the management and funding of services across sectors.

During the COVID-era and beyond, multidisciplinary perioperative teams can be at the front and centre of supporting staff to deliver the best possible care. This review is an important contribution to supporting local teams to work collaboratively in offering the best care to their patients, and in supporting decision makers to advocate for perioperative care.” 

While the report finds evidence of the important role anaesthetists and surgeons play in the delivery and coordination of multidisciplinary care, it also finds that the benefits are not always apparent. More work is needed to explore which types of multidisciplinary working are most effective and what infrastructure and resources are needed to strengthen and sustain it around the time of surgery, including on its role in Integrated Care Systems. 

We believe that collaborative and efficient perioperative care is the route to effective and sustainable surgery. Multidisciplinary working is a key part of this. Many components of the perioperative care pathway already exist within the NHS. The time is right to strengthen it even further.  

Read the report here.