Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

National survey of day surgery in Ireland presented at research and education conference

17 February 2011
New research conducted by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and presented at an Education and Research Day in conjunction with Beaumont and Connolly Hospitals has identified seven barriers to the provision of day surgery in Ireland; the main barrier being the lack of dedicated day surgery theatres.

Academic Health Centre

(L-R) Prof. Gerry McElvaney, Department of Medicine, RCSI and Dr. Borislav Dimitrov, HRB Centre for Primary Care Research at an Academic Health Centre Education and Research conference organised by RCSI, Beaumont and Connollly Hospitals.


Day surgery is the practice of admitting patients into hospitals on the day of surgery for a planned, non-emergency surgical procedure and discharging patients within hours of that surgery. The research found that over 60% of hospitals do not have dedicated day surgery units. The lack of dedicated day surgery theatres resulted in day cases often being operated on in general theatres and in many cases being pushed back or cancelled due to emergencies.

Additional barriers identified include the need for more clinical governance, longer opening hours in order to allow longer recovery time for patients, lack of equipment and geographical factors because for many patients they live too far from day surgery units and therefore were admitted as in-patients. The age profile of patients and their knowledge of day surgery was also a factor along with problems of overflow from Accident and Emergency departments and the lack of community back up and support.

Academic Health Centre

(L-R), Liam Duffy, C.E.O, Beaumont Hospital, Mary Walshe, Hospital Manager, Connolly Hospital, Prof. Hannah McGee, Chair of AHC Education & Research Group and Dean of Faculty of Medicine, RCSI, Dr. Terry McWade, Deputy C.E.O, RCSI & Prof. Cathal Kelly, C.E.O, RCSI at the AHC Education and Research Conference in Beaumont Hospital.

Professor Seamus Cowman, Principal Investigator and Head of the School of Nursing, RCSI said ‘Day surgery is viewed as the optimal environment for many surgical procedures, yet in Ireland, the rates are still low compared to international figures. The reconfiguration of the Irish health care system has seen the development of day services in acute hospitals and an increasing emphasis has been placed on day case and out-patients procedures. However additional barriers need to be overcome in order to further develop this service in Ireland'.

This research was presented at a Research Opportunities Day organised by Beaumont and Connolly Hospitals and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Additional research presentations given on the day include ‘An Analysis of the Impact of the Irish F.A.S.T campaign on A&E presentations to Beaumont and Connolly, Improving surgical practice in infection prevention and Collaboration across a continuum of research to promote safety in epilepsy care.

Academic Health Centre

(L-R) Prof. Gerry McElvaney & Prof. Seamus Cowan