Fitter Better Sooner – preparing for surgery information toolkit launches


As part of the Royal College of Anaesthetists’ (RCoA) commitment to championing perioperative medicine, the College has launched Fitter Better Sooner – a patient information toolkit aimed at advising patients on how to prepare for going in to hospital and encouraging them to improve their health before surgery. The toolkit consists of one main leaflet, six specific leaflets on some of the most common surgical procedures and an animation which can be shown in clinics or on portable devices.

Having an operation is a major event in a patient’s life and many will have had limited exposure to hospitals. But there is much patients can do ahead of surgery to reduce anxiety and aid a speedy and successful recovery. Aimed at patients, but delivered by care providers, the toolkit materials can be used in ‘teachable’ moments with patients in order to encourage them to actively participate in their own healthcare choices and enjoy the benefit of a healthy lifestyle long after surgery.

Dr Hilary Swales, RCoA Clinical Lead for Patient Information and consultant anaesthetist, said:

“As anaesthetists, we see fewer complications in the perioperative period in those patients who actively embrace healthy lifestyle choices, optimise their medical co-morbidities and play an active role in their recovery. The Fitter Better Sooner information toolkit explains the steps and resources to motivate them as they transition between primary and secondary care.”

The Fitter Better Sooner toolkit is endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng).

Dr David Paynton, RCGP Clinical Lead for Commissioning and GP said:

“Referring someone for surgery is routine for GPs but for patients it can be a frightening experience. This simple, easy to understand guidance can help patients prepare and also helps them know when to ask for help. I hope GP surgeries might consider putting this toolkit on their website.”

Mr Nick Markham FRCS and RCSEng Council member said:

“Surgeons are fully supportive of this new patient information toolkit. We know that better informed and better prepared patients will have a smoother journey through surgery and this toolkit gives them a comprehensive but simple guide to what lies ahead, and can be highly recommended.”

The Fitter Better Sooner toolkit can be downloaded here



02 October 2018