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RCS statement: Response to the NHS Future Forum consultation

16 November 2011

The NHS Future Forum has asked for feedback from patients, service users and professionals as the NHS prepares to put into practice the legislation currently going through parliament. The RCS has provided thoughts on three areas: Integrated Services, Information and Education and Training.

Education and Training:

The RCS believes education and training of healthcare professionals is fundamental to providing the high quality and efficient NHS the government wish to see. Investment in this area stands to pay for itself many times over both financially and, more importantly, in lives saved. For surgeons the balance of knowledge and acquisition of technical skills through experience is vital. Workforce planning and service commissioning must not happen in isolation. Standards of training must be independently assured and to national standards and not be diluted by too much local discretion. The RCS is best placed to carry out this vital function within surgery.

Information:

The RCS strongly supports plans for more detailed clinical data to be gathered about the NHS and shared publicly. This is a vital step to understanding how quality can be improved and how to reduce unfair variation between areas for patients. But work needs to be done to give clinicians greater ability to validate their data and for the information the NHS gathers to better reflect patient care rather than the process of delivering services.

Integration:

The government aim for doctors to work effectively across primary, secondary and social care will be frustrated unless the introduction of ‘any qualified provider’ includes explicit links with a range of healthcare professionals who can deal with sicker patients and in case of post-operative complication or readmission. The College believes integration is best achieved by the professional accountability of a single-named consultant assuming overall responsibility for a patients care backed by strong communication to ensure a seamless patient experience.

Copies of the full RCS submissions are available below:

 

-ENDS-
Notes to Editors:

  1. The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. Registered charity number: 212808. For more information please visit www.rcseng.ac.uk
  2. If you have any queries please contact:
    Matthew Worrall        – Email: mworrall@rcseng.ac.uk; T: 020 7869 6047
    Katie Bennett        – Email: kbennett1@rcseng.ac.uk; T: 020 7869 6052
    Out-of-hours: 07966 486 832