NHS Long Term Workforce Plan

This month has seen the release of the NHS long term workforce plan. Whilst many organisations have cautiously welcomed the release of a plan as a first step towards supporting the crucial role that staff play throughout the NHS, it is fair to say that some aspects have been met with concern and need further discussion and clarification. One distinct positive is the recognition of perioperative care as a concept, and a priority focus for service improvement.

“…the perioperative care team supports patients on their journey from contemplation of surgery through to the procedure itself and onto post-operative care and follow-up. Improvements to the perioperative care model, incorporating earlier preoperative health screening and optimisation, and increased access to day surgery, enhanced recovery pathways and enhanced care services, will be supported by expanding our core workforce to include associates, support workers, care co-ordinators and advanced practitioners.” (Section 4 Reform – Working and Training Differently, Paragraph 86)

This aligns with CPOC’s key strategic aims of supporting education and development of the workforce. Patients are presenting with increasingly complex combinations of surgical pathology and co-morbidity, and require a cohesive multidisciplinary team approach to assessment, planning and support when preparing for surgery. CPOC are supporting the development of a multiskilled, flexible workforce with the following initiatives:

  • Development of a multi-professional curriculum in Perioperative Care. Commissioned by Health Education England.
  • Development of training resources for the new non-clinical perioperative care co-ordinator role as described by NHS England.
  • Development of whole pathway guidelines with broad working groups and patient representation.

CPOC.org.uk hosts resources and guidelines relevant to the whole perioperative care team so please spread the word.