More patients should expect their operations to be cancelled, warns top doctor

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Billions in NHS funding are not going to be enough to reduce the backlog of millions of waiting patients, as there is a shortage of the key doctors needed for most surgeries. Granthshala Has been reported.

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Dr Fiona Donald, new president of the Royal College of Anesthetists Granthshala The workforce gap between anesthetists, the largest group of hospital specialist doctors, had worsened since the pandemic, with one in three reporting mental health problems following their experiences during the COVID crisis.

In her first interview, Dr Donald, a consultant anesthetist at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, said she was very concerned about the demand for hospitals during the winter, adding that doctors were being asked to do extra work that was “more than reasonable.” beyond”.


She said she feared it was “inevitable”, with operations having to be canceled more in the coming months as the NHS comes under additional pressure – due to a shortage of doctors on how many surgeries can be performed.

Anesthetists are needed for surgery, sedating patients, and monitoring them during the operation. They also work in the critical care unit where patients are sedated and placed on ventilators to help them breathe. Anesthetists also work in other hospital departments, including maternity.

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During the coronavirus waves, anesthetists were among NHS staff working on the front lines in temporary intensive care units working to try and save the sickest patients.

The Royal College of Anesthetists (RCOA) has warned that nearly one in five of its members plan to quit their jobs after the pandemic, with 40 percent saying they could reduce their hours.

I think there is no doubt that this is going to be a very hard winter and the NHS is going to be under enormous pressure to a point when everyone is a little tired, and the workforce is short. i am very worried

Dr Fiona Donald, President of the Royal College of Anesthetists

This would further exacerbate the existing shortage as nine out of 10 units reported that they had at least one Consultant Anesthetist vacancy.

Dr. Donald said Granthshala That without the anaesthetist most operations would not be able to proceed. The RCOA had previously warned that the shortages meant that a million operations a year were delayed due to vacancies, but Dr Donald said the figure would almost certainly be higher now.

“I think there is no doubt that this is going to be a very hard winter and the NHS is going to be under tremendous pressure to a point when everyone is a little tired, and the workforce is less. I am very worried.

“I think that will inevitably be [more operations cancelled] Because we are already seeing cancellations and we appear to be in the summer at the moment.

“As the number of COVID cases in intensive care increases, which inevitably they will be accompanied by other diseases, then the anesthetists may well be pulled from their anesthetic duties. So that means fewer anesthetists to provide both emergency and planned anesthetic services and obviously we have to prioritize emergency services.

“I would anticipate the number of cancellations to be at least at the same level, if not increasing.”

Earlier this month ministers unveiled an additional £5.4bn for the NHS for the second half of the financial year, with an additional £1bn specifically to try and reduce the backlog of operations – which is now a record 5.6 billion million patients have been reached.

Dr Donald cautioned that while money would help, there was a limit to what could be done due to workforce stress.

She said: “If you don’t have enough anaesthetists, you won’t be able to do as much work and you won’t be able to fix the backlog quickly. More will have to be done. You can’t just put workloads on people and expect that there won’t be results.

“A large part of the surgery team is the anaesthetists and without us, it is not possible for most operations to proceed.

“What is really needed is to create a long-term workforce plan that is funded properly. Money will help, no doubt, but you have to be able to make long-term plans to improve the system.”

She said doctors worked long hours during the pandemic because it was an emergency, but warned that this could not continue indefinitely: “You can’t constantly rely on people working beyond what is reasonable.” Can.

“All services are extended to some extent. Some are expanding back in terms of critical care capability.

“The type of surgery that is being canceled varies from place to place, depending on the extent of the COVID work. But there is no doubt that it is not back to normal, and COVID patients are getting affected, as is the disease among the staff. “

She warned that the NHS is headed for a “perfect storm” where already exhausted and demoralized people are not given enough time to rest and so you end up in a very difficult situation.

Dr Donald, who works as an anesthetist in obstetrics, also warned about the dangers for pregnant women from COVID.

He said Granthshala: “In the first wave, I saw that the number of pregnant patients was quite low, but the number has definitely increased compared to the subsequent increase. I think it is sad that we have to get some pregnant women to get vaccinated. Can’t agree.

“We know that we have found a vaccine that does not necessarily prevent you from becoming infected, but makes the severity of the disease so much less severe, and we know that especially in later pregnancy if you develop COVID. If you do, your chances of having a serious illness due to the mechanics of the pregnancy are quite high.

“It is safe and in the best interest of both the mothers and their babies.

“Seeing a pregnant woman struggling to breathe, and then acting to the point when they’re very unwell, and then they end up in the intensive care unit and wake up a few days later, isn’t really Know what happened. It’s heartbreaking to see because it can be avoided.”


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