The RCS England has published its ‘New Deal for Surgery’ today, and this important document is strongly supported by the BOA. The report highlights the devastating impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on surgery in the NHS due to reductions in elective operating, and it makes recommendations for urgent action to address the consequences of this.
The report sets out a framework for tackling short, medium and long term challenges facing surgery and patients awaiting surgery. These include increasing the number of beds and of doctors (including surgeons and anaesthetists), addressing the many lost training opportunities for current cohorts of trainees, wider ambitions for the delivery of surgical care in the NHS, and meanwhile taking account of NHS staff wellbeing issues. Many of the recommendations align closely with what BOA has already been pushing for in our work on elective restart and recovery.
Trauma and Orthopaedics is highlighted as an area that has been hit hard by the pandemic. Our specialty has the largest number of patients waiting over a year for surgery (see graph below from today’s report), and also the largest number of people waiting in total for any one specialty (totaling over 620,000). The BOA is already working closely with NHS England, GIRFT and others to support the recovery of elective surgery, and we welcome this report and its contribution to national efforts on tackling these issues.
The full report has been published online at: https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/about-the-rcs/government-relations-and-consultation/position-statements-and-reports/action-plan-for-england/. Graphic above © RCSEngland