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Perceptions of UK clinicians towards postoperative critical care

Hashim, S; Wong, DJN; Farmer, L; Harris, SK; Moonesinghe, SR; (2020) Perceptions of UK clinicians towards postoperative critical care. Anaesthesia 10.1111/anae.15302. Green open access

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Abstract

© 2020 The Authors. Anaesthesia published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association of Anaesthetists Postoperative critical care is a finite resource that is recommended for high-risk patients. Despite national recommendations specifying that such patients should receive postoperative critical care, there is evidence that these recommendations are not universally followed. We performed a national survey aiming to better understand how patients are risk-stratified in practice; elucidate clinicians’ opinions about how patients should be selected for critical care; and determine factors which affect the actual provision of postoperative critical care. As part of the second Sprint National Anaesthesia Project, epidemiology of critical care after surgery study, we distributed a paper survey to anaesthetists, surgeons and intensivists providing peri-operative care during a single week in March 2017. We collected data on respondent characteristics, and their opinions of postoperative critical care provision, potential benefits and real-world challenges. We undertook both quantitative and qualitative analyses to interpret the responses. We received 10,383 survey responses from 237 hospitals across the UK. Consultants used a lower threshold for critical care admission than other career grades, indicating potentially more risk-averse behaviour. The majority of respondents reported that critical care provision was inadequate, and cited the value of critical care as being predominantly due to higher nurse: patient ratios. Use of objective risk assessment tools was poor, and patients were commonly selected for critical care based on procedure-specific pathways rather than individualised risk assessment. Challenges were highlighted in the delivery of peri-operative critical care services, such as an overall lack of capacity, competition for beds with non-surgical cases and poor flow through the hospital leading to bed ‘blockages’. Critical care is perceived to provide benefit to high-risk surgical patients, but there is variation in practice about the definition and determination of risk, how patients are referred and how to deal with the lack of critical care resources. Future work should focus on evaluating ‘enhanced care’ units for postoperative patients, how to better implement individualised risk assessment in practice, and how to improve patient flow through hospitals.

Type: Article
Title: Perceptions of UK clinicians towards postoperative critical care
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/anae.15302
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/anae.15302
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. Anaesthesia published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association of Anaesthetists This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Keywords: anaesthesia, critical care, enhanced care, postoperative care, peri‐operative surgery
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Targeted Intervention
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10118106
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