Agility is the key to surviving the crisis

Mr Alan Farthing

As the profession faces ongoing challenges over winter, how can consultants plan strategically for their practice while adapting quickly as the situation unfolds?

Mr Alan Farthing, director of clinical strategy at King Edward VII’s Hospital, gives Independent Practitioner Today his views.

When a global pandemic such as Covid-19 arrives, there are no rules or previous randomised trials. There is no textbook to refer to nor tutorials from a respected senior figure. 

King Edward VII Hospital in Beaumont Street, Marylebone, London

The situation is unique and the medical profession with its associated support teams is at the head.

Clinicians are well versed in the art of making rapid and meaningful decisions. An intraoperative change of plan may occasionally make the difference between life and death and will frequently increase or decrease the risk of complications. 

Clear and logical thinking on those occasions will determine the quality of care that patients receive. 

Decisive thinking

Despite the uncertainties of the pandemic, the same clinical principles still exist, whereby clear, logical and decisive thinking will make all the difference to a patient’s outcome – and a consultant’s practice. 

‘Good things come to those who wait, but only what is left over from those who hustle’, said Abraham Lincoln.

This was certainly the case back in March. King Edward VII’s Hospital is an independent hospital in central London and we were able to be agile, responsive, decisive and able to hustle when Covid struck.