6 min read

Making every contact count: improving surgical outcomes for patients

Imogen Fecher-Jones First published: Last updated:


Nurses in primary and secondary care who have contact with patients in the months before surgery are ideally placed to deliver health promotion information. Changes in health behaviour are likely to reduce the risk of complications and improve surgical recovery. Nurses have the knowledge and skills to have conversations with patients about health-related behaviour, and can also benefit from additional training and reflection on their own practice to build confidence in this area.

Around 10 million people undergo surgery in the UK every year, with reasons for surgical interventions ranging from cosmetic to lifesaving. Although surgery is clearly prevalent, it is important not to underestimate the risks it poses. Death following surgery is the third leading cause of death worldwide (Nepogodiev et al, 2019), and even without any complications, patients are likely to experience a significant decrease in fitness in the weeks following the surgery, as well as

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Imogen Fecher-Jones