The patient population in NHS hospitals that are managed with a tracheostomy has evolved significantly over the last 20 years. The majority are performed percutaneously by intensivists, in the Intensive Care Unit, on critically ill patients or those recovering from critical illness. Most tracheostomies are temporary.
The vast majority of patients with ‘surgical’ and ‘non-surgical’ tracheostomies experience critical care at some stage of their journey. The multidisciplinary nature of tracheostomy care is a familiar working environment for our speciality, with tracheostomy care being perhaps one of the best examples truly multidisciplinary care.
There is increasing evidence from national and international quality improvement programs that a multidisciplinary tracheostomy team that reviews and coordinates the management of tracheostomy patients can bring benefits for the quality and safety of care, including organisational efficiencies and significant cost savings.