21 June 2010
President of the Royal College of Surgeons John Black, said:
“The Royal College of Surgeons welcomes the change in emphasis from targets to measurement of outcomes in the revised operating framework for the NHS published today (June 21st), especially the commitment to remove altogether those targets that have ‘no clinical relevance’. The relaxation of the 18 week deadline should allow surgeons to treat patients depending on clinical need and not on whether they are about to breach a target. The acknowledgement that the four hour A&E target has severely distorted care for many patients and is under review will also be viewed as a positive step by hospital doctors.
We hope that the removal of the target culture will signal the end of the pooled waiting list and the inability in some areas of GPs to refer patients to an individual consultant. Patients and doctors value continuity of care highly.
The decision to proceed with specialist centres for trauma care and paediatric cardiac surgery are positive steps that will improve standards of care. We hope that the inclusion in the four tests for reconfiguration of ‘clarity on the clinical evidence’ will ensure confidence of both patients, and clinicians involved in redesigning their service. Continued involvement of the medical royal colleges will be essential.”