RCSEng Publishes a 'New Deal for Surgery' Action Plan for Surgical Recovery

Today the Royal College of Surgeons of England has published 'A New Deal for Surgery' Report that highlights the challenges that exist and provides recommendations for recovery in the facr of mounting surgical waiting lists,

The report encompasses twelve key recommendations  on how recovery can be aided; 

  1. Continue the £1bn annual ‘Elective Recovery Fund’ for England for a further five years to tackle the elective surgical backlog.
  2. Publish an annual report setting out the Government’s response to the elective backlog in England.
  3. Ensure all Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) urgently consider what measures can be put in place to support patients facing long waits for surgery, including the best and most efficient use of new technologies to support this.
  4. Adopt a long-term aim to increase the number of hospital beds from 2.5 to 4.7 per 1,000 people, in line with the OECD average.
  5. Build NHS capacity to reduce our reliance on the independent sector in the event of future pandemics or crises.
  6. Consolidate COVID-light sites in every region: ensure at least one NHS hospital acts as a COVID-light site in each ICS, with more than one site in larger ICSs
  7. Widen adoption of the ‘surgical hub’ model across England for appropriate specialties, such as orthopaedics and cancer.
  8. Adopt a long-term aim to increase the number of doctors (including anaesthetists and surgeons) from 2.8 to 3.5 per 1,000 population, in line with the OECD average.
  9. Publish a regular assessment of healthcare workforce projections and requirements.
  10. Enable surgical trainees to catch up on missed training opportunities as soon as possible with bespoke programmes of training that include enhanced theatre time.
  11. Introduce statutory regulation for surgical care practitioners to enhance their role and attract more people to the profession.
  12. Continue to ensure that staff wellbeing and retention is at the forefront of plans for elective recovery; all trusts to support less than full time working for surgical teams.

The report highlights CPOC's key messaging about turning waiting lists into 'preparation lists' to help ensure that patients are ready for their operation when their turn comes and use the time to benefit their outcomes. This would help to reduce post surgical complications and length of stay.

As CPOC Deputy Director Mrs Scarlett McNally highlights "For all patients, we need to move towards a model where ‘waiting lists’ for surgery become ‘preparation lists’ – where patients use this time to get as fit as possible for their surgery. "

Read the full report