Headlines: August 19th, 2002

New money invested in shortening waiting lists is to be pumped into projects which deliver speedy results – by treating more and more patients with day surgery.The Government is to make 68 million pounds available to expand day case surgery enabling around 120,000 more NHS operations a year.

As well as the extra investment, there is new guidance to improve day surgery rates.

The guide covers initiatives to reduce waiting times, improve booking systems and offer patients more choice, but it also pushes 17 new procedures as potentially suitable for day surgery – including breast cancer operations, perforated ear drum repairs, keyhole surgery on knee cartilage or shoulder joints and keyhole repair of abdominal hernias.

These new procedures have the backing, where appropriate, of the British Association of Day Surgery.

The Government says the new guidance sets down a challenge to managers, commissioners and clinicians, who should ask as a matter of course: ‘Do we have to admit this case as an inpatient?’

Other capacity-boosting initiatives for both primary and secondary care have also been announced:

– 39 million pounds for 10 more fast-track Diagnosis and Treatment centres in the next two years

– 22 million to fund 100 schemes aimed to improve access to expanded primary care services and accelerate the development of one-stop primary care centres

– 24 new NHS Lift schemes to build new primary care facilities, including GP surgeries.

Link: www.doh.gov.uk/daysurgery