The Case for Perioperative Care

Published: 12/11/2019

A population health approach

Current NHS priorities are largely risk factor and single-issue based. The NHS prevention programme has been shaped by the key risk factors causing premature deaths, eg smoking, diet, blood pressure, obesity, alcohol and drug use. This focus is very welcome.

However, individual interventions alone will not achieve the change we need to deliver at a population level. NHS and public health leaders alike think the NHS should prioritise a systems approach to prevention. The perioperative care pathway, because it is cross-specialty and multi-disciplinary nature, is an ideal approach to deal with the co-morbidities that many of the high risk surgical patients present with.

In this context, with half of all primary and secondary care consultations and admissions for patients with multiple long term conditions, perioperative care is a natural enabler for the treatment of this cohort of patients and CPOC would be keen to see the development of an explicit national strategy to address multimorbidity.

The shift to ICSs and primary care networks will help bring together commissioners, providers and local authorities to make decisions in the interests of the entire health economy, based on clusters of disease profiles across populations.

Cross-sector partnerships with local authorities, community and voluntary organisations
and statutory bodies are enablers of prevention.