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Our Manifesto for Surgery

Manifesto for Surgery

We have published our Manifesto for Surgery for the 2019 General Election and written to the party leaders, urging them to pledge support for our five key recommendations.

We encourage you to email your parliamentary candidates and ask them to support our Manifesto.

We call on the next government, regardless of which political party or parties form it, to:

1.  Develop a five-year plan to tackle lengthening waits for operations 

image Most recent figures show that only 85% of patients were seen within 18 weeks, far below the statutory target of 92%. In August 2019, 662,053 patients had been waiting more than 18 weeks. We are calling for a five-year plan from the next government to tackle lengthening waits for operations. Crucial to that plan is protecting and upholding patients’ rights to a maximum wait of 18 weeks, delivering at least 3,000 extra beds for patients, an improved workforce strategy, improvements to hospital infrastructure and a sustainable social care system.

2.  Abolish the NHS pensions ‘tax trap’

image We have serious concerns about the impact of recent changes to pension taxation rules on patient access to surgery. Under tapered annual allowance rules introduced in April 2016, many clinicians are in effect ‘paying to work’ if they take on additional sessions. Our research highlights the negative effect this is having on waits for surgery, staff retention and surgical training. The incoming government must take swift action and abolish this pensions ‘tax trap’.

3.  Protect patients, staff and standards in future Brexit negotiations 

image We are keen to ensure that, should the next government pursue a policy of leaving the EU, the best interests of patients and clinicians are placed at the heart of future negotiations on any revised deal or future trading relationship. The implications for the NHS and wider health and care system of a 'no-deal' exit must be considered at the highest levels of the next government’s decision making. A failure to do so could have huge consequences for the lives and wellbeing of millions of people.

4.  Support the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Surgery 

We sponsored an independent Commission on the Future of Surgery which was reported one year ago. We are calling on the next government to ensure these recommendations are enacted, so that new technologies are rolled out safely and equitably across the NHS.  This includes a robotics strategy to ensure surgical teams are trained in how to use robots in the operating theatre, and a comprehensive registry of all new surgical procedures and implants, to help monitor their safe use in patients.

5.  Improve the oral health of children and older people

Image The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the RCS has been campaigning to improve the oral health of children and adults. The Faculty is calling for a national supervised tooth brushing scheme for children, the extension of the soft drinks industry levy to sugary dairy drinks, and training in oral health for professionals who work with at-risk older people.

Read the Manifesto in full for further background on our five recommendations.

How you can help

Please help us to ensure that your local parliamentary candidates hear about our Manifesto for Surgery, by sending them an email and asking for their support.  If you have time to add further personalised comments, explaining your views or experience, that will have an even greater impact. 

A list of parliamentary candidates in your local area, including contact details, can be found on the Who Can I Vote For website.

Download our full Manifesto for Surgery.


Got a question? Get in touch...



Telephone +44 (0)20 7869 6300 to talk with a member of our course team

We are able to answer calls Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm

Should you wish to Fax us please use +44(0)20 7869 6320


Our reception desk is on the fourth floor of the main College building. Take one of the lifts opposite the Council Room to the fourth floor, and the reception area is directly in front of you.


RCS Education

The Royal College of Surgeons of England

35-43 Lincolns Inn Fields

London, WC2A 3PE

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