Planning surgical services in the NHS needs to take account of the finite capacity of the consultant and his/her team to carry out work of a standard which does not compromise the quality of care of the individual patient. Pressure is increasingly towards a consultant‐provided service. Current working practice suggests that one consultant could see 600‐650 new out‐patients per year and carry out 600‐650 case weighted operations per year. This would meet the general surgical needs of a population of about 30,000. Recom‐mends that this approach is considered in planning surgical services in the future rather than the historic workloads which are likely to perpetuate the present compromises in the quality of patient care.
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