Why bring surgery to the community?
Innovative GPs in the UK are providing minor surgical services within the community setting. This ranges from GPs who remove lumps and bumps within their pre-existing practice set-up, to those who have developed a specialised surgical service within their practice, to those who have developed a community surgical centre dedicated to community surgery. GPs developing a community surgical service, as well as operating, are maintaining links with local hospital surgeons. The involvement of hospital surgeons is in the capacity as mentor, or in the capacity of visiting surgeon to the community centre, or both.
Surgical procedures under local anaesthetic are performed safely and effectively in the community, with high levels of patient satisfaction. Community Surgery is cost-effective, patient-friendly.
Some of the benefits to patients are shorter waiting times, shorter visit on day of procedure, less congested access than at the hospital and easier logistics for patients in terms of locality and parking.
From the clinicians’ view there is the opportunity to participate in a clinician-led service, ability to innovate faster in a smaller, less bureaucratic organisation, and opportunity for variety and job satisfaction.
Community surgery tariffs come in at 40-80% of national PBR tariffs, making it a more cost-effective option. With an increase in community surgery providers comes an increase in patient choice. This drives innovation and quality of service delivery. From the NHS Trust point of view, outsourcing minor surgical procedures which are associated with a relatively low tariff allows the trust to shed loss-making low tariff work, enabling hospital resources to be focused on complex procedures which make efficient use of the resources available in a hospital.
- Example application to CCG <members only>
- Case studies: Pioneering community surgical centres in the UK <members only>