Approximately 11 million people have surgery each year in the NHS. Over half are having elective (non-emergency) procedures. Although the standard of care during surgery is high, preventable complications and deaths still occur. Most of these are in high-risk patients, who make up 15% of all patients having surgery.
Perioperative care is a broad field covering an array of elective and emergency procedures across a varied population. This guideline focuses on aspects of perioperative care where practice varies. It brings together the available evidence and provides recommendations to standardise practice and improve surgical outcomes. It also highlights areas where research is needed to inform future guidance.