Press Release

Essex-based workforce management firm, Athona, industry healthcare specialists, has welcomed the release of NHS England’s latest guidance on the subject of 2021/22 priorities and operational planning for elective surgeries.

The company has been working on providing a service offering to support the NHS post COVID-19 in order to reduce referral to treatment times (RTT) and mobilise elective surgery teams.

With 4.5 million patients on the official waiting list and a projected 5.9 million on the so-called ‘hidden waiting list’ where patients have not come forward during the pandemic now is the time to maximise effort across the board.

In an article featured in The Times newspaper (26th March 2021), it was detailed that NHS Trusts will be given cash incentives to raise the number of elective surgeries as part of an £8.1 billion scheme to get the health service back up to speed.

Tracie Spires, Quality & Governance Lead for Athona Clinical Services, comments: “Whilst the Athona Group has supported the NHS by providing healthcare workforce solutions for the last 18 years, our unwavering support throughout the coronavirus pandemic has set us apart from others. With the introduction of our clinical services team we have frontline healthcare professionals ready and waiting to support the restart and recovery of elective care. From hips and knees, hernias, cataracts to endoscopy, our consultant-led teams will ensure growing patient demand is met and waiting lists are reduced.”

NHS England’s guidance report details the priorities for the year ahead, which are focussed on:

  • Supporting the health and wellbeing of staff and taking action on recruitment and retention
  • Delivering the NHS COVID vaccination programme and continuing to meet the needs of patients with COVID-19
  • Building on what has been learned during the pandemic to transform the delivery of services
  • Expanding primary care capacity to improve access, local health outcomes and address health inequalities
  • Transforming community and urgent and emergency care to prevent inappropriate attendance at emergency departments, improve timely admission to hospital for ED patients and reduce length of stay
  • Working collaboratively across systems to deliver on these priorities.

Information sourced from: