“Improving care is not an instant process.” – Clare Marx, President of the Royal College of Surgeons
In May 2016, official NHS statistics revealed more than 74,000 last minute cancellations of hospital operations in England, the highest in 15 years. Recent research suggests the real figure may be much higher. Shortages of staff and beds as well as pressure on A&E departments and poor social care for discharged patients are thought to be the main causes. While the vote to leave the European Union has raised concerns about potential recruitment problems, Clare Marx of the Royal College of Surgeons has urged colleagues to treat Brexit as an opportunity to drive up standards in patient safety. New technologies such as 3D printing and surgical robotics also look set to change the way doctors operate.