Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

DR Mike Clark, clin­i­cal lead for health op­ti­mi­sa­tion at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and GP with High Street Surgery, Mac­cles­field IN re­cent weeks there’s been lots of me­dia cov­er­age of NHS plans to en­sure pa­tients are in the best pos­si­ble phys­i­cal shape be­fore hav­ing non-ur­gent surgery for things like hip or knee re­place­ments.

Some com­men­ta­tors have wel­comed these pro­pos­als as a sen­si­ble move to in­crease pa­tients’ chances of mak­ing a com­plete re­cov­ery from surgery while oth­ers have dis­missed the plans as penny pinch­ing.

Here at the CCG we have no doubt that help­ing peo­ple to im­prove their health be­fore go­ing un­der the knife is the right thing to do. And that’s why our gov­ern­ing body voted last month to de­velop and im­ple­ment some­thing called a ‘pre­op­er­a­tive op­ti­mi­sa­tion pol­icy’.

There’s strong ev­i­dence that surgery is less risky and pa­tients re­cover more fully if they stop smok­ing, and ad­dress their weight, ex­er­cise reg­u­larly and drink sen­si­bly.

The new pol­icy is not in­tended to stop pa­tients get­ting the treat­ment they need, but will al­low a con­sid­ered and ap­pro­pri­ate op­por­tu­nity to im­prove pa­tient safety and out­comes by op­ti­mis­ing health, which will have long-last­ing ben­e­fits to the in­di­vid­ual.

Our pre­op­er­a­tive op­ti­mi­sa­tion pol­icy will em­power pa­tients to stop smok­ing and work towards their tar­get weight, blood pres­sure and al­co­hol in­take. The pol­icy has been sup­ported by GPs, sur­geons and anaes­thetists, and we con­tinue to work closely to­gether to embed this pol­icy. It’s im­por­tant to stress that the pol­icy doesn’t ap­ply to emer­gency surgery or to planned surgery that the sur­geon and anaes­thetist agree has be­come ur­gent for med­i­cal rea­sons.

Our fig­ures sug­gest the pol­icy could af­fect up to 10,400 pa­tients a year, made up as fol­lows:

6,900 pa­tients need­ing to lose weight

2,800 pa­tients need­ing to take more ex­er­cise

1,800 pa­tients need­ing to stop smok­ing

690 pa­tients need­ing to drink less al­co­hol.

GPs will ad­vise pa­tients on how to im­prove their health, at the point of con­sid­er­ing re­fer­ral for sur­gi­cal opin­ion, and will work with Pub­lic Health providers to en­able pa­tients to ac­cess Cheshire East Coun­cil’s ‘One You’ pro­gramme to pro­mote healthy life­styles.

For lots of great ad­vice on get­ting in shape, visit www.oney­oucheshireeast. org.

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