Improving perioperative care – we want your views!

Oliver Boney is a research fellow at the National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia. Here he describes a nationwide research priorities exercise, asking all clinicians who look after surgical patients (as well as patients themselves) what research efforts would make a real difference to improving patient care.

In tandem with its Perioperative Medicine programme, the National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia (NIAA) is running a research consultation exercise, asking ‘What anaesthetic or perioperative research would improve patient outcomes?

Older people who need surgery are recognised to be at higher risk of a worse postoperative outcome than younger counterparts.However, death after major surgery such as hip fracture repair remains stubbornly high: 8% at 30 days and nearly 30% at 1 year; 30-day mortality after emergency laparotomy for people over 75 years old approaches 25%. How might we improve? Where should efforts be focused?

There is evidence that collaborative working, including input from geriatricians in the perioperative pathway, can improve outcomes in older patients after surgery, but a recent survey highlighted patchy provision of geriatric services in surgery across the UK.

Anaesthetists and surgeons are realising that the benefits of integrated multidisciplinary perioperative care, as demonstrated by the Royal College of Anaesthetists’ recent launch of its vision for the future of Perioperative Medicine (read the recent BGS blog article on this). Although there are many stakeholders in perioperative care, the national priorities for directing research studies and budgets are not yet defined.

Please fill in the survey to define the agenda for all people undergoing surgery. Your views will ensure issues related to older people are noted. To fill in the survey, go to: https://niaa.org.uk/PSPSurvey#pt.

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