Patients benefit from improved outcomes as a result of increased specialisation. However, specialisation means doctors and surgeons need to work together in bigger teams.
For example, 20 years ago one surgeon would have operated on many different parts of the body, performing breast, colorectal and urological surgery. Today, they specialise in certain types of procedures and a surgeon who performs the same operation many times a year becomes more skilled at it than the surgeon who does it less frequently.
The Royal College of Surgeons recommends that acute hospitals each serve at least 500,000 people if staff are to develop and retain the specialist skills expected of them by today’s standards. The total population served by the Trust is 500,000 across all its sites. This creates challenges when services are duplicated across several sites.