Guidelines launched to support patients on surgical waiting lists
New guidance has been launched which will boost the NHS in its efforts to provide better advice, support and care to patients contemplating or waiting for surgery.
The guidance has been produced by a leading group of professional healthcare organisations including the Centre for Perioperative Care, the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Major surgical complications already affect over 300,000 NHS patients per year, jeopardising long-term quality of life and survival. With the pandemic leaving five million people currently waiting for planned surgery, without action, the rate of major complications may rise due to deteriorating health and fitness while waiting.
The new ‘Pre-operative assessment and optimisation’ (POAO) guidance supports clinicians to help patients to get ready for their surgery and improve their health. Embedding shared decision making into perioperative care pathways, as described in recent NICE guidance, is recommended as an important step to ensure patients get the right care for them, every time.
Innovations such as prehabilitation, which includes improving general health, exercise, nutrition, and preparing patients psychologically, all help to support patients waiting for surgery. To access the guidance, click here.