Efficiencies in theatres can be made but must take into account wider pressures on hospitals

04 February 2019

Responding to Operating theatres: opportunities to reduce waiting lists by NHS Improvement, the head of policy at NHS Providers, Amber Jabbal said:

"This report rightly recognises that the NHS is one of the most productive health systems in the world for the number of surgical operations it carries out.

"These operations will only increase as our population becomes older and frailer. As a result of financial and workforce challenges the number of patients waiting longer than they should be for routine surgery is growing. Addressing this challenge goes beyond how operations are scheduled.

As a result of financial and workforce challenges the number of patients waiting longer than they should be for routine surgery is growing. Addressing this challenge goes beyond how operations are scheduled.

Amber Jabbal    Head of Policy

"Trusts would agree that there are opportunities for efficiencies to be made. However, theatres cannot be viewed in isolation and we have to be realistic about the current resources in place. Often cancellations and downtime for theatres are because of staffing levels, patient needs and the availability of beds across the system.

Trusts would agree that there are opportunities for efficiencies to be made. However, theatres cannot be viewed in isolation and we have to be realistic about the current resources in place.

Amber Jabbal    Head of Policy

"There will be differences in the way that individual trusts choose to run their theatres. This is based on the needs of their patients, staffing or the facilities they have available.

"The case studies within this report show that trusts are pioneering new ways of running theatres from the frontline. More can be done to share this learning if proper support is put in place to enable it."

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