GP commissioners must help improve care of emergency surgery patients, say surgeons

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 06 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2178
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Care of patients who need emergency surgery must improve and gain a more prominent role in NHS hospitals, a new report from the Royal College of Surgeons of England says. The report claims that pressure on trusts to meet targets on elective surgery has led to the neglect of emergency surgery.

Rates of mortality and complications among patients undergoing emergency surgery, which accounts for about half of NHS surgery, vary widely among hospitals in England and Wales, it says. Problems in this area include:

  • A lack of detailed outcome measurement

  • Poorly defined care pathways

  • Inadequate access to theatre, …

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