Response to the General Election 2024 result

Published: 05/07/2024
Responding to the result of the UK General Election, Dr Fiona Donald, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists said:

“The Royal College of Anaesthetists looks forward to working with the new Government to ‘build an NHS fit for the future’.

“One of the Government’s key manifesto commitments is to cut NHS waiting times. We welcome and share this ambition on behalf of our members and the patients they care for. With waiting lists at such historic highs, it will only be possible to provide the care patients deserve by increasing the number of anaesthetists, as most operations cannot take place without one. The UK currently has a shortage of 1,900 anaesthetists, which prevents around 1.4 million operations and procedures from taking place each year. There are plenty of doctors who want to train as anaesthetists, but we need funding for more training places as part of a wider plan for specialty training across the NHS.

“We also urge the Government to harness the huge potential for reducing waiting lists and improving patient outcomes by supporting hospitals to embed perioperative care interventions, such as prehabilitation, that are proven to reduce on-the-day cancellations of surgery and post-surgery complications.  

“Our members remain committed to the vital work they do for patients in the NHS but workload pressures have eroded morale and wellbeing. The Government must arrive at a fair pay deal for junior doctors and prioritise and implement the retention measures proposed in the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan so that more doctors can stay working in the NHS.”

Our manifesto, Anaesthesia: solutions for an NHS in crisis, sets out our priorities for Government.