By: 7 December 2016
Patients set to attend ‘surgery school’ in Southampton in effort to get fit for surgery

Southampton teaching hospitals have launched a weekly ‘surgery school’ designed to prepare patients mentally and physically for their operation.

Professor Mike Grocott, a consultant in critical care at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) NHS Foundation Trust, is leading the project that is currently being piloted among colorectal and urology patients at Southampton General Hospital.

It sees groups of ten patients attend a two-hour session with their clinical team to find out more about improving health and fitness. Topics covered include the benefits of exercise, nutrition, alcohol education and smoking cessation – all with the aim of reducing patients’ risk of complications post-surgery and the length of time they spend in hospital.

As part of the project, patients are given advice on what types of exercise to undertake and have access to the specialist Southampton Quitters service, as well as a dedicated alcohol support team.

“We know from various UK and international research studies that patients who are in good physical shape prior to surgery have fewer complications and enjoy a quicker recovery after their operation,” said Grocott.

“But just handing patients a leaflet or making a passing comment about trying to take care of their health – which remains commonplace – just isn’t enough to get the message through about what a difference improvements in fitness and lifestyle can make.

“Therefore, we have been piloting the surgery school as a formal part of patients’ pre-surgery preparations – and are also following up to see how many patients have sustained changes in their routines to maintain improvements made prior to their operations.”

Around 90 patients have attended the surgery school so far, with 93 per cent likely to recommend the programme to a friend or family member ahead of major surgery.

Source: Southern Daily Echo