Responding to the ‘Surgical activity in England and Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic: a nationwide observational cohort study’ published in the BJA Professor Ravi Mahajan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists said:
“The ‘Surgical activity in England and Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic’ report confirms the impact of the pandemic on millions of patients awaiting surgery, with these figures only likely to grow. Behind every cancelled surgery is a patient left in pain, many unable to carry out normal activities, and all left in limbo only getting sicker.
“Delivering a sustainable NHS, with the capacity to treat all patients affected by the backlog is a monumental task. We must remember the anaesthetists and other healthcare workers so crucial to the treatment of patients during the pandemic, will be the same people essential to building back services. While the government’s promise to increase funds for the NHS are positive. It is disappointing that we are yet to see a commitment to long-term workforce planning backed by funding for an increase in the number of training places.
“We must be careful not to compromise the sustainability of the NHS by neglecting the needs of healthcare staff to build and recover as part of addressing the elective backlog. People are the greatest asset the NHS has and there can be no NHS recovery without staff recovery.”
PDF of the Study: BJA Surgical activity in England and Wales during the COVID-19