Prof. Mike GROCOTT
Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine
University of Southampton
Mike Grocott is the Professor of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Southampton, director of the Southampton NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (2022-27), an NIHR Senior Investigator (reappointed 2022) and was NIHR CRN national specialty lead for Anaesthesia Perioperative Medicine and Pain (2015-2020
Mike is vice-chair of the board of the UK national multidisciplinary Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC) and was previously elected vice-president of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (2019-20). Mike is joint editor-in-chief of Perioperative Medicine and chair of the UK National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia.
Perioperative medicine is developing fast across the world. However, the context of this development is challenging due to:
(i) the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic with the linked challenges of staff resilience, burnout, and well-being in healthcare professionals
(ii) the economic challenges consequent on the pandemic and the global inflationary shock of 2022 that are worsening health inequalities and constraining healthcare investment
With challenge comes opportunity.
The legacy of COVID-19 has given us an appreciation that we are capable of innovating much more efficiently and effectively than we typically achieve.
Economic pressures drive radical innovation when incremental cost-cutting is insufficient to achieve cost goals.
The social determinants of health are amenable to change through focussing on health behaviours, healthy environments and other socioeconomic factors.
Perioperative medicine is taking many anaesthetists out of the OR to focus on a broader set of issues for patients. We have huge opportunities to improve care and decrease the burden of ill-health associated with surgery through rethinking healthcare delivery (who, what, where, how?), re-designing pathways to be patient-focused (not provider-centred) and breaking down barriers between professions and specialties.
Innovative solutions include prehabilitation, redefining waiting lists as preparation lists, refining postoperative care to safely promote rapid recovery, and the application of technology and digital solutions across the whole perioperative pathway.
Perioperative medicine and care have come a long way in the last decade. The next decade may bring more radical change through the application of innovative solutions to drive cost-effective improvements in patient care and improve healthcare provider well-being and satisfaction.