Fitter Better Sooner Toolkit
Many people waiting for hospital care will have a long-term condition to manage. On this page you will find information about how to manage long term conditions and how to manage pain.
Fitter patients who are able to improve their health and activity levels recover from surgery more quickly and with fewer complications. What you do in the time leading up to surgery can have a really big impact on your recovery and long-term health.
The Royal College of Anaesthetists’ Fitter Better Sooner resources will provide you with the information you need to become fitter and better prepared for your operation.
Many medical conditions (such as diabetes, heart, lung and other medical problems, anxiety and mental health) can affect recovery from surgery. It is important to make sure any known conditions are controlled as well as possible ahead of your surgery. More information can be found here.
Information on long-term conditions
If you are living with a long-term condition, managing your lifestyle choices can help prevent flare ups, delay your condition getting worse, improve symptoms and improve your recovery following surgery.
For more information about support to manage your long term condition(s) visit the NHS website.
There is also a huge range of short health videos by clinicians that provide information and advice on how to help manage your long-term condition or prepare for your procedure for example “what is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)” or “How to reduce your blood pressure”
Access more than 600 health information videos here.
Or can also download the app.
Support and advice on managing pain
The resources below can help you manage your pain while waiting.
The Pain Toolkit offers a set of tools to help aid pain self-management.
The pain tools, developed to help with the self management of pain. https://www.paintoolkit.org/pain-tools
For help with the self management of persistent pain
Advice about how to manage chronic pain
For those with bone, joint or muscle pain, to access advice, guidance and exercises from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to help you manage your pain: https://www.csp.org.uk/conditions/managing-pain-home
For information on back pain and pain medication;
Charitable organisations providing support on and advice for people affected by chronic pain
You can also download leaflets that can help you deal with pain if you have a long term condition. https://painrelieffoundation.org.uk/about/help-and-advice-leaflets/
Pain Concern work to improve the lives of people living with pain and those who care for them. https://painconcern.org.uk/
The PainSupport website helps patients move forward in life with better chronic pain self-management, with or without drugs or treatments. The techniques and suggestions for your chronic pain will allow you to live a fulfilling and meaningful life, despite having pain. https://painsupport.co.uk/
The British Pain Society provides links and information for people living with pain https://www.britishpainsociety.org/people-with-pain/
Who else can I ask for help?
Ensure that you attend when invited, any Long Term Condition or medication reviews with your primary care team or pharmacists and raise any concerns you have about worsening/change in symptoms.