All sides in the emergency surgery debate came together in March for the College’s annual conference. Discussion on the best configuration for emergency services goes on, but the event provided a valuable opportunity for sharing best practice and innovative solutions from around the world. John Duncan reports
Emergency surgery has been described as a ‘Cinderella’ specialty. If that means something which unexpectedly achieves recognition after a period of obscurity or neglect, then the term is undoubtedly accurate. Emergency surgery has been starved of resources, leadership and kudos for too long.
It is often regarded as the part of a consultant’s workload that gets in the way of his/her subspecialty work, which is seen as more important and more deserving of investment in research, organisation and visibility. Yet emergency surgery is the area of practice responsible for the majority of surgical bed days and, most importantly, it has the worst outcomes.
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