Approximately 15 years ago ACPGBI recognised that, in order to deliver a high quality coloproctology service it was necessary to identify and describe the services necessary for the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of colorectal disease. The outcome was 'Resources for Coloproctology', now in its third edition.
A changing coloproctology service
A great deal has changed since 2001 and indeed since the last update in 2006. The ‘two week wait’ is now an established part of our working practice. Laparoscopic surgery has become more common, bringing with it increased resource in terms of equipment and time in theatre. Pelvic floor services have expanded. MDTs, having been established for cancer patients and are gradually being incorporated in both pelvic floor and IBD patient pathways. Commissioning of services has also become an issue and government targets are influencing patient care more and more.
Response to a ‘cost-cutting, target chasing culture’
These changes alone have prompted a need for an update for some time. However, one further event in the last 10 years has really emphasised this need. In 2013 the Francis report was published and highlighted appalling levels of care in one NHS Trust, mainly due to a ‘cost-cutting, target chasing culture’. Although the report concerned one Trust, the message was clear that this scandal should not be seen as a ‘one-off’ and that there needed to be a fundamental recognition of the danger of this attitude throughout the NHS. Patient care and safety should come first.
Prompted by these factors we have spent the last 18 months revisiting the resource document and updating all aspects of care in order to produce something which we hope reflects the current situation in 2016 and which will endure for some time beyond.
Resources for Coloproctology 2015
The document is now available on the ACPGBI website (download link below). It is hoped that it will inform clinicians, managers, medical directors, chief executives and politicians, so that any existing inequalities in care for patients, resulting in what has been described as “a postcode lottery” can be corrected, so that standards nationally will be more uniform.
This resource document will be in the public domain. The recommendations made will be made available to patients, so that they have the relevant information on which to base enquiries about whether local levels of resource are adequate to ensure good patient care.
With thanks to Bowel Cancer UK and the Bowel Disease Research Foundation