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Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent action the Government have taken to improve aftercare services for post-operative patients. (206057)

As part of the 18-week programme, the Department, working together with the national health service, has developed 40 high-level, symptom based commissioning pathways which describe good practice from presentation of patients' symptoms to their discharge into review, rehabilitation and self-care. The Department has also published a good practice guide on maximum impact: shorter pathways, which includes good practice on all stages of pathway including post operative care. These are available from

In addition, the ‘no delays achiever’ and suite of supporting products, provides NHS organisations with practical advice on gives how to improve services at all stages of the pathway. This is available from

Work has started with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to improve the rehabilitation of patients following periods of critical care. This will focus on the physiological and psychological welfare of patients and is aimed at improving outcomes, their quality of life, and reducing readmissions to hospital.