Surgery: Standards

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 22 April 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Burt of Solihull Baroness Burt of Solihull Liberal Democrat

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to introduce better perioperative practices into the NHS to reduce the number of surgical cancellations, complications, and extended stays in hospital.

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

In May 2023, NHS England published guidance in an online-only format setting out five core perioperative care requirements relating to the care of adult patients awaiting planned inpatient surgery. Implementation of these core requirements will reduce post-surgery complications and length of stay and reduce the likelihood of short notice postponement or cancellations occurring for avoidable clinical reasons. The NHS England National Elective Recovery and Outpatients programme is working with NHS England regional teams to help oversee and support compliance and will continue to do so throughout 2024/25. Beyond these requirements, we are encouraging the adoption of practices such as enhanced recovery initiatives, which minimise length of stay and reduce complications, using the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation framework as a financial incentive, and maximising day surgeries where clinically appropriate to minimise risk of cancellation from bed pressures.

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