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A new initiative to boost the health and subsequent recovery of patients waiting for major procedures is due to be outlined under the NHS Elective Care Recovery Plan, whose rollout is anticipated from April 2023.
According to NHS England, around one-third of on-the-day surgery cancellations are due to patients not being clinically ready for treatment, including those with long-term conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure either not being managed properly or not having been previously diagnosed.
Patients who are not fully ready for treatment are at greater risk of significant complications after surgery, which can result in a hospital admission up to three times longer than average and can lead to longer-term health problems and reduced chances of survival.
Under the new plans, those awaiting surgery will receive extensive support from dedicated NHS care teams including nurses, care coordinators and doctors who will screen patients and work with them to develop personalised plans ahead of their surgical procedure. The aim is to both reduce the number of cancellations as well as boost patients’ chances of recovering quickly from treatment.
It is hoped that earlier screening will also help identify patients with additional health needs and provide extra support with both pre and post-treatment, such as smoking cessation and mental health services.
Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of the NHS in England, said, “While treating more than 600,000 patients in hospital for Covid has inevitably disrupted routine and elective treatments, the NHS is accelerating efforts to recover services and ensure as many patients as possible receive timely, expert care.
“Last minute cancellations for health reasons are not only a major source of frustration and anxiety for patients but cost the NHS and taxpayers, so it’s absolutely right that we help people to get fighting fit for surgery.
“The NHS is committed to providing care for all so as we have said all along, it is crucial that anyone who is concerned about their health comes forward so staff can help you get the support and treatment you need”.
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Carrie Plummer - Editor & Content Manager
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