Day surgery could save £8m a year4th September 2008
An official report has indicated that increased use of day surgery in Scotland could save £8m a year.
Audit Scotland said that rates of day surgery, involving no overnight stay, were improving but there was a wide variation between health boards, which could not be explained by differences in location or patients’ circumstances.
Figures showed that while NHS Tayside achieved less than 30% of the relevant targets, NHS Fife achieved more than 80%.
Audit Scotland noted that national targets had been met in more than half of 19 common procedures such as cataract removal and hernia repair and steady progress was being made since targets were introduced in the 1990s, it said.
Auditor General for Scotland Robert Black said: "It's long been recognised that day surgery benefits patients through promoting a speedy recovery and minimising the disruption that an overnight stay in hospital can have on people's lives.
"It also promotes a more efficient use of NHS resources by reducing waiting times and freeing up hospital beds."
Audit Scotland recommended boards should monitor levels of same-day surgery by hospital and speciality and take appropriate action where rates were low.
The Scottish government now regards day surgery rates as a key part in meeting the new waiting time target of 18 weeks by 2011.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "Each board will be expected to agree improvement milestones which they will be expected to achieve by the target date. We expect clinicians to be fully involved and put in place necessary training and facilities."
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Title: Day surgery could save £8m a year
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 8148
Date Added: 4th Sep 2008