Safe. Sustainable. Effective: developing a long-term plan for the NHS

A joint submission from the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and the RCoA’s Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) (September 2018)

This joint submission on developing a long-term plan for the NHS, from the RCoA and the RCoA’s FPM, provides a number of recommendations for how, over the next decade, the NHS can transform the way it delivers care and treatment for patients and the support received by the staff that provide these essential services.

Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties remain the institutional memory of the health service, as our development mirrors changes in technology, medical knowledge and patient demand and expectation. It is with this perspective that we have provided 19 recommendations for the long-term development of the NHS.

The submission highlights opportunities for the development of anaesthetic-led perioperative medicine, through the integration of services both inside and out of the hospital walls, delivered by a multi-disciplinary healthcare team. Through perioperative medicine, new concepts such as ‘prehabilitation’ are evolving and new links between primary, secondary and tertiary care are being formed.

Reflecting the crosscutting work of our membership, this submission addresses a number of the work-streams of NHS England’s long-term plan. The submission covers issues that impact through the entirety of the Life Stage Programmes, supporting a number of Clinical Priorities – with a focus on Cancer, Cardiovascular and Respiratory – and contingent on a range of Enablers, notably Workforce, Training and Leadership, Clinical Review of Standards and System Architecture. The delivery of perioperative medicine will be both a catalyst for Integrated and Personalised Care for People with Long Term Conditions and Older People with Frailty (including Dementia) and a means of facilitating a focus on Prevention, Personal Responsibility and Health Inequalities – particularly in the secondary care setting.

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01 October 2018