Morecambe Bay patients given early intervention to get themselves Set For Surgery

Patients in Morecambe Bay are being offered the opportunity to take part in a pilot service to ensure they are fit and healthy for surgery – before they are referred for treatment.

Some people visiting their GP in the Morecambe Bay area may be offered a referral to a community pilot of Set For Surgery programme. They will receive additional support in improving their health and fitness from local community teams.

The offer of support is completely voluntary, and the referral is not dependent on accepting it. The aim of the support is to improve a patient’s health before they have even received a referral from their GP to the hospital, or alongside the referral process.

Following the success of the original Set For Surgery programme, it was decided that patients should be offered support earlier in their treatment journey.

Community teams will provide support to patients to improve their own health, including:

  • losing weight
  • stopping smoking
  • cutting down on alcohol.

Set For Surgery is a unique system allowing GP surgeries to link up with hospitals providing treatment for their patients, share data, and giving patients targeted actions to work on with their GP before their operation.

This new service offers patients support, before they have been seen in the hospital clinic. This is important, as people who are a healthy weight and do not smoke recover better from surgery and have an improved quality of life after their operation.

The website can signpost anyone on NHS waiting lists to local health advice and services to support them in their pre-operative journey, and is available 24/7.

Leading the programme, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay consultant general surgeon Wendy Craig, said: “Many people already receive support from our dedicated team once they have been listed for surgery, but there is an opportunity to work with patients ahead of that and improve their health. Improvement to health and fitness can reduce strain on the body from surgery, improve the chances of a good outcome without complications, and in some cases might mean patients don’t need surgery at all.”

The pilot is currently up and running in Morecambe Bay, and results will be evaluated before being rolled out further afield. For more information go to


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