Perioperative Care for Older People undergoing Surgery Network (POPS)

Increasing numbers of older people are undergoing surgery (11 million procedures were performed by the NHS in 2016, nearly 5 million of these were in those aged over 65 years), and adverse clinician-reported, patient-reported and process-related outcomes are common within this patient group. For example:

  • Postoperative morbidity and mortality increase with advancing age. 90-day mortality after emergency laparotomy is four times higher for those aged over 60 years, compared to those under 60 years
  • Due to complications and slower recovery older patients stay in hospital for longer. On average, those aged over
  • 65 years stay 30% longer than those under 65 years

This new approach to the peri-operative management of older people undergoing surgery has been developed by leading clinicians in the field over the last 17 years, with extremely good results. The POPS service has improved outcomes by integrating geriatricians into the care pathway of older surgical patients and demonstrates that preoperative Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) and optimisation reduces postoperative complications and length of stay in older people undergoing elective orthopaedic and vascular surgery. 

There is now a bold ambition to share this work and drive the adoption and spread of this service model across the NHS.

The POPS Network

The POPS Network works with NHS organisations to help them understand and adopt the POPS model locally as part of their work on redesigning and restoring elective care, and ensuring services are designed to meet the needs of older people. We support teams during a six-month collaborative programme of learning and development events. During these events (which will all be delivered virtually), sites and systems will share their learning and present their work. 

Find out more on what support the POPS Network offers