- Day surgery is a continually evolving speciality performed in a range of ways across different units.
- In recent years, the complexity of procedures has increased with a wider range of patients now considered suitable for day surgery.
- Effective pre-operative preparation and protocol-driven, nurse-led discharge are fundamental to safe and effective day and short stay surgery.
- Fitness for a procedure should relate to the patient’s health as determined at pre-operative preparation and not limited by arbitrary limits such as ASA status, age or body mass index.
- Patients presenting with acute conditions requiring urgent surgery can be efficiently and effectively treated as day cases via a semi-elective pathway.
- Central neuraxial blockade and a range of regional anaesthetic techniques, including brachial plexus and paravertebral blocks, can be used effectively for day surgery.
- Each anaesthetist should develop techniques that permit the patient to undergo the surgical procedure with minimum stress and maximum comfort, and optimise his/her chance of early discharge.
- Every day surgery unit must have a Clinical Lead with specific interest in day surgery and whose remit includes the development of local policies, guidelines and clinical governance.
- Good quality advice leaflets, assessment forms and protocols are in use in many centres and are available to other units.
- Effective audit is an essential component of good care in all aspects of day and short stay surgery.
- Enhanced recovery is based on established day surgery principles and is aimed at improving the quality of recovery after inpatient surgery such that the patient is well enough to go home earlier and healthier.