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Perioperative Medicine

In 2015 the Royal College of Anaesthetists launched its ‘Perioperative Medicine: the Pathway to Better Surgical Care’ initiative. Perioperative Medicine describes the healthcare management of a patient throughout their surgical journey, from the first point at which surgery is considered up to complete postoperative recovery. The concept of perioperative medicine aims to achieve the best postoperative patient outcomes by improving the quality of care that patients receive before, during and after their operation.


Surgical patients increasingly have medical problems and co-morbidities in addition to that for which surgery is planned. If we fail to consider the surgical patient in the context of their wider healthcare needs, and manage these appropriately, there is evidence that their postoperative outcome is impacted negatively in terms of higher complication rates, reduced functional capacity and increased mortality.

The principles of Perioperative Medicine are not novel and the expertise required to deliver this care to patients is available amongst healthcare professionals within primary and secondary care. The challenge is to bring the knowledge and skills together in a consistent, patient centred approach that ensures all patients get the most benefit from undergoing surgery.

More details and resources from the RCOA perioperative medicine programme can be found here


Pre optimisation of chronic medical problems in Primary Care

As part of the concept of perioperative medicine, optimisation of chronic medical problems in primary care prior to referral for elective surgery will reduce postponements and facilitate a smoother patient pathway. A summary of threshold targets to aim for prior to referral for elective surgery may be found here 


Further information  

Please contact the Preoperative assessment clinic at the Royal Berkshire Hospital   0118 322 6546 with any queries



    Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust,
    London Road,
    RG1 5AN
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    Tel: 0118 322 5111
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