Response to GIRFT General Surgery report

In response to the release of the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) General Surgery Report, Dr Liam Brennan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) said:

“The RCoA fully supports the ambitions for a more efficient and more effective NHS which underpins the GIRFT programme.

“At the same time we also welcome the report’s acknowledgement that productivity cannot come at the expense of patient care or safety.

“However, while we recognise that there are areas where the use of NHS resources can be improved and money can be saved - including in procurement of equipment and medicines - there are long-term questions of sustainability, with answers that can only come through investment.

“Many buildings in the NHS estate are not fit for a 21st century service and the Government must deliver on its commitment to an ambitious programme of capital funding for new NHS projects.

“Front-line staff are helping more patients than ever before and we know many work hours beyond their contracted hours to provide continuity of patient care. It is important that targeted measures to improve staff welfare and morale are pursued in parallel to clinical initiatives and are not delayed by financial motives. 

“The new GIRFT project in Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine will begin in September and we look forward to identifying and sharing areas of best practice.

“The RCoA’s Perioperative Medicine Programme aims to tackle these same issues.  The programme aims to identify ways to improve the quality of patient care before, during and after surgery, and the new GIRFT project will complement this work. 

“Dr Chris Snowden and Dr Mike Swart, the GIRFT Clinical Leads for Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, will have the unique opportunity to assess variation across the patient pathway rather than be limited to one specialty. This will benefit the NHS as a whole by identifying areas where, by working in partnership with other specialties, they can promote best practice.

“As a Medical Royal College we will continue to support projects which focus on improving the quality of patient care and we are proud to co-sponsor the GIRFT project in Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine with NHS Improvement.”


04 August 2017