Plastic surgeons call for greater investment in multi-disciplinary teams
The call follows a study of BAPRAS members showing that four out of five plastic surgeons (83%) has observed improved patient care outcomes as a result of the treatment being managed by an MDT
• Over 80% of UK plastic surgeons have seen a positive improvement in quality of care or outcomes as a result of Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) working
• Around three in five plastic surgeons occupy a leadership role in at least one of their MDTs
• BAPRAS supports the Department of Health's drive to integrate MDT working in healthcare services
Some of the main benefits of MDT working identified by surgeons as leading this improvement include better co-ordination of care, fewer unnecessary patient hospital visits and more informed healthcare decision-making, given the input from a broad range of specialists.
Other advantages include producing evidence-based decisions that are less likely to result in patient dissatisfaction and possible litigation, as well as more opportunities to effectively train junior healthcare professionals by exposure to senior expertise.
Peter Budny, BAPRAS communications chair and consultant plastic surgeon, said:
“The biggest difference I have seen is with patients where the choice of therapy is not clear or the patient has a particularly complex case. Having committed individuals working together helps inform decision-making and deliver more personalised, effective care for patients, ensuring holes in provision are minimised. Further investment in MDTs would not only benefit the more complex cases but would also ensure that simple ones are able to be dealt with more promptly.”
BAPRAS is calling for greater support for plastic surgeons, who play a crucial role within a large number of MDTs. Almost two in five plastic surgeons (38%) are involved in three or more MDTs, with three in five (59%) occupying a leadership role within the MDTs they work in.
The survey results also highlight the impact of plastic surgeons in tackling the growing skin cancer epidemic, with over two-thirds of members surveyed working within an MDT that specialises in treating patients with skin cancer or melanoma.
Mr Budny continued:
“Plastic surgeons play a critical role in leading MDTs and delivering care. Our study clearly shows there should be a commitment to further integrate MDT working into healthcare services and is further evidence of the need for increasing numbers of plastic surgeons per head of population, as we embrace this new method of working towards expertise, quality and uniformity of care.”
BAPRAS, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, is the voice of plastic surgery in the UK. It aims to increase the understanding of the professional specialty and scope of plastic surgery, promoting innovation in teaching, learning and research.
Founded in 1946 (originally as the British Association of Plastic Surgeons), today BAPRAS has over 800 members and is the professional representative body for reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgeons providing services to patients on the NHS and privately in the UK.