The College has published Elective Surgery and the NHS: A Surgical Forum Discussion Paper, a report covering the current NHS working environment and solutions around the issues with funding.
The Surgical Forum comprises of the Federation of Surgical Specialist Associations, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.
Chair of the Surgical Forum and President of the Federation of Surgical Specialist Associations, Nigel Mercer, commented:
“The Surgical Forum is delighted the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has published our paper on Elective Surgery. As we head towards the 70th anniversary of the NHS, the debate about the need for extra funding is becoming louder and the Surgical Forum raises the ‘question that dares to be asked’. Can and should the NHS continue to provide ALL care that medicine can provide because it is clear that no funding model can do so? The Surgical Forum also makes suggestions how elective surgery can continue at no extra cost to the NHS during times of extreme bed pressures and makes other suggestions how we can help facilitate the debate and help the NHS continue providing excellent surgical care in the future.”
Professor Michael Lavelle-Jones, President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh said:
“The College is keen to aid the government in its endeavours to improve the NHS, ensure its longevity and safeguard patient safety. Through the intercollegiate Surgical Forum, we have given an assessment of the current working environment and offered some initial solutions. Given Jeremy Hunt’s comments in the Guardian about a potential increase in spending, we offer our voice and experience on how best to utilise these funds and resources.”
- a call to set up a Royal Commission to determine healthcare funding policy, taking it out of political control
- fears that if patients may be denied essential treatment if they do not fit closely to defined funding requirements for procedures laid out by CCGs
- a call for a time-limited formation of a Joint Specialities Indications Committee to determine what is affordable and deliverable
- the development of decision-making aids for NICE and CCGs and clinicians to ensure cost-effective care
- The NHS cannot deliver a five-day a week routine service let alone seven-days-a-week within current funding
- To achieve funding savings and efficiencies CCGs need to be combined into larger operating strategic units with similar footprints to STPs
- Care provision STILL needs central co-ordination to avoid postcode lotteries