In a previous News Blog I advocated a ‘Taylorised’ (i.e. assembly plant) type of approach to bariatric surgery, where a small number of (expensive) surgeons and anaesthetists would oversee a workforce of (less expensive) physician’s assistants / auxiliary medical personnel – figure reproduced below for your convenience. The argument was that bariatric surgery was the only really effective treatment for obesity resulting in greatly improved long-term outcomes, yet surgical resources, as currently deployed, could not meet the demand. No News Blog reader wrote in to ask “but is it safe to operate in this way?” A recent study, based on over half-a-million operations suggest that the answer is “yes it is” – complications were no greater when bariatric operations were concurrent than when they were done strictly in series. CLAHRC WM News Blog reader Tim Jones has recently visited an eye hospital in Hyderabad, India, where a Taylorised approach is taken to cataract surgery with massive efficiency gains and complication rates even lower than those in the UK. I have written before saying that medicine cannot and should not be Taylorised. Real medicine lies in diagnosing, explaining and consoling. But procedures are ripe for massive efficiency gains.
— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director
- Lilford RJ. Bariatric Surgery – Improve Five-Year Outcomes. NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands News Blog. 23 June 2017.
- Liu JB, Ban KA, Berian JR, et al. Concurrent bariatric operations and association with perioperative outcomes: registry based cohort study. BMJ. 2017; 358: j4244.
- Lilford RJ. The Future of Medicine. NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands News Blog.23 October 2015.