This plan is an important first step towards transforming the surgical pathway for the benefit of patients and the NHS
This week the NHS published its elective recovery plan “Delivery Plan for Tackling The Covid-19 Backlog of Elective Care” which sets out how the health service will recover from a record backlog of 6 million patients.
The Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC – a collaboration between the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Physicians and other professional stakeholder representative organisations) welcomes these proposals as an important first step towards improving the surgical pathway for the benefit of patients and the NHS.
One key proposal is for Personalised Care Plans, which will support patients to consider and prepare for surgery.
As CPOC’s evidence reviews show, the healthier someone is going into their operation, the lower the chance their operation will need to be cancelled on the day of surgery, the lower the chance of post-operative complications and the quicker and more successful their recovery. Cancellations and complications are bad for patients and dealing with these complications reduces NHS efficiency and value for money.
Unfortunately, 10% - 15% of operations have a complication – which are often predictable and preventable. Within hospitals, 45% of costs can be attributed to 3% of patients – typically those who have postoperative complications.
Improving the preparation of patients ahead of an operation by addressing health problems yields major benefits as do simple patient lifestyle changes. For example, dealing with health problems like anaemia, diabetes and frailty, or assisting patients to improve diet, increase exercise, or stop smoking improves chances of recovery, and reduces the length of time someone needs to stay in hospital.
CPOC also welcomes the proposals to:
- Improve shared decision making between patients and clinicians to empower patients to make informed choices about their own care.
- The commitment to Personalised Care Plans, which will support patients prepare for surgery by giving support and guidance to achieve the best possible outcomes.
- Suppoort safe, effective and timely discharge from hospital.
- Perioperative Care Teams to help draw these strands together.
Dr David Selwyn, Director, Centre for Perioperative Care said:
“There are so many things that can be done to improve the NHS’s surgical pathway. The roll out of perioperative care teams to screen patients ahead of their operation, to identify and manage risk factors and to provide support for patients, will have very significant positive impacts in terms of reduced cancellations, improved patient outcomes, and NHS financial savings. The Centre for Perioperative Care looks forward to working with NHSE and its partner organisations to help take a fully funded solution forward and to also make important inroads into supporting our patients to help address their fitness for surgery.”
Lawrence Mudford, CPOC Patient Representative said:
“Patients want to be involved in decisions about their care and want to know what they can do to improve the chances their surgery will go well. Lack of involvement in decision making, and lack of information and support about how to properly prepare for surgery can lead to cancellations on the day of surgery and complications after surgery. These are things that both patients and the NHS want to avoid.
Today the NHS published its elective recovery plan “Delivery Plan for Tackling The Covid-19 Backlog of Elective Care” which sets out how the health service will recover from a record backlog of 6 million patients.
“Surgery is difficult enough, without last minute changes or avoidable post-surgical complications. We welcome these proposals in the interests of patients and the health service as a whole and look forward to their adoption across the NHS.”