New guideline to support people living with frailty who receive surgery

The CSP has welcomed the publication of new guidance about the best care pathways for people living with frailty, both before and after they receive surgery. 


Guideline for Perioperative Care for People Living with Frailty Undergoing Elective and Emergency Surgery is a joint-publication from the Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC) and the British Geriatrics Society (BGS). 

It is the first full pathway guideline for the perioperative management of people living with frailty who are undergoing surgery, and aims to help reduce perioperative complications among this high-risk patient group.    

The new guidance was developed by a multidisciplinary working group, which included representatives from over twenty organisations, including the CSP, and it identifies physiotherapists as an integral part of the multidisciplinary care pathway for adults living with frailty who undergo surgery. 

Physiotherapist Alison Cowley, AHP clinical academic co-lead at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, represented both the CSP and the BGS as part of the working group that developed the guideline.  

She told Frontline

This publication provides clinicians, commissioners, managers, patients and their carers with an evidence-based pathway for supporting older people living with frailty through elective and emergency surgery

In addition, it provides invaluable information for patients and their carers about what to expect as part of their care.'   

Physios provide vital support 


Dr Cowley added that the guideline identifies physiotherapists as integral to supporting the function and wellbeing of patients across the surgical pathway as part of a multi-professional team. 

‘These guidelines are important for physiotherapists because they help build the case for holistic and person centred care and rehabilitation across the surgical pathway which seeks to improve patient outcomes and experiences,’ she said. 

‘They also contain useful information to support the implementation of pre and peri-operative services for older people and how they can be commissioned within local services. 

The new guideline, which covers all aspects of perioperative care relevant to adults living with frailty who are undergoing elective and emergency surgery, is available to view here 

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