FICM comments on the GIRFT Cardiothoracic Surgery Report
“The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine welcomes the GIRFT Cardiothoracic Surgery Report, which highlights the importance of critical care services to the efficient management of cardiac surgery. It importantly also recognises the considerable issue of bed management that critical care teams manage on a daily basis, which is often compounded by the lack of ward beds to discharge patients to.
As noted in the Faculty’s recent Critical Capacity report, bed capacity in critical care continues to be a significant issue, both during winter and, for many hospitals, throughout the year. A national focus on these issues through programmes like GIRFT is therefore timely. The idea of ring-fencing beds has been seen as a solution for cardiac surgery but will not in reality resolve the overall need for more ICM trained nurses and facilities at a national level.
On the back of the recommendation from Critical Futures: A Report on the First Wave Survey, the Faculty is taking forward a work stream looking at appropriate co-ordination of patients post-surgery in enhanced care areas, with our colleagues in Surgery and Anaesthetics as key stakeholders. We are sure this will help aid both bed utilisation and cost efficiency.
The Critical Care GIRFT programme is now in full flow and will be exploring this among many other issues in its work plan ahead.
Dr Carl Waldmann, Dean of the Faculty
Dr Anna Batchelor, Clinical Lead for the Critical Care GIRFT programme”