Anaesthesia and Perioperative Care Priority Setting Partnership

In 2013 the AAGBI jointly funded with other NIAA partners the creation of an Anaesthesia and Perioperative Care Priority Setting Partnership. This was a collaborative effort involving patients, the public and clinical professionals, identifying the most important directions for new research in anaesthesia and perioperative care.

James Lind

This process was facilitated by the James Lind Alliance (JLA), a non-profit making initiative established in 2004 which aims to bring these groups together to identify and prioritise the top 10 uncertainties or 'unanswered questions' about treatments they collectively consider to be most important. The JLA process is an effective way to ascertain the aspects of care which truly matter both to patients and to clinicians.

In May 2015 representatives from 23 partner organisations (13 multidisciplinary professional societies and ten patient groups) chose the ten most important research topics for the specialty of anaesthesia and perioperative care as:

  • What can we do to stop patients developing chronic pain after surgery?
  • How can patient care around the time of emergency surgery be improved?
  • What long-term harm may result from anaesthesia, particularly following repeated anaesthetics?
  • What outcomes should we use to measure the 'success' of anaesthesia and perioperative care?
  • How can we improve recovery from surgery for elderly patients?
  • For which patients does regional (local) anaesthesia give better outcomes than general anaesthesia?
  • What are the effects of anaesthesia on the developing brain?
  • Do enhanced recovery programmes (fast-track surgery to speed up patient recovery) improve short and long-term outcomes?
  • How can pre-operative exercise or fitness training, including physiotherapy, improve outcomes after surgery?
  • How can we improve communication between the teams looking after patients throughout their surgical journey?

These themes will be used, along with the Association’s existing research priorities, to inform our grant-funding decisions and research strategy.