Recommendation ID

Which patients, other than those known to have a high risk of complications or mortality, would benefit from postoperative care in a specialist recovery area (a high-dependency unit, a post-anaesthesia care unit or an intensive care unit)?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why the committee made the recommendation

The committee agreed that people with a high risk of complications or mortality should have postoperative care in a non-ward-based specialist recovery area to improve outcomes such as quality of life and to reduce the incidence of adverse events. However, they noted that there is a large group of people in whom the need for postoperative care in a specialist recovery area is less clear, and made a recommendation for research on specialist recovery areas.

How the recommendation might affect practice

The recommendation is expected to lead to a need for increased capacity and staff in hospitals performing major or complex surgery, or surgery in patients with a high risk of complications or mortality. The resource impact for the NHS is likely to be significant because of the high cost of care in specialist recovery areas and the large number of patients likely to need this care. However, there may also be savings achieved by reducing the occurrence of postoperative adverse events and the need to manage these.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Perioperative care in adults
Date issued
August 2020

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 01/08/2020