Skip main navigation

FutureLearn and UCL launch online course for healthcare professionals in the emerging multi-disciplinary approach: Perioperative Medicine

Perioperative Medicine in Action’ will launch on 3rd July 2017 and has been endorsed by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

London, UK, 30th June 2017: FutureLearn, the leading social learning company, today announces with its partner, University College London (UCL), the launch of ‘Perioperative Medicine in Action’, recently endorsed by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

An increasing number of high-risk patients are presenting to hospitals seeking a surgical cure, yet too many of these patients die or suffer prolonged complications following surgery. A group of anaesthetists working at UCL and University College London Hospitals (UCLH) believe that many of these complications and deaths are avoidable. They’ve therefore developed a free online course educating the broader perioperative team about an emerging multidisciplinary approach known as ‘perioperative medicine’.

This course is aimed at all interested healthcare professionals – both medical and allied, including anaesthetists, surgeons, physicians, pre-assessment nurses, surgical ward nurses, operating department staff, medical managers and medical students, and of course those with a general interest in Perioperative Medicine. The course is designed to inspire learners to make changes in their workplace and practice and share those changes to help form this emerging field with others in the profession.

By the end of the course, learners will be able to:


  • Justify better, more holistic care for high risk surgical patients, to improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
  • Demonstrate the need for protocolised care pathways and evaluate the success of the enhanced recovery programmes in reducing variance in practice.
  • Engage with risk assessment tools to characterise and quantify the risk of an individual undergoing a particular procedure.
  • Describe the major challenges in delivering perioperative medicine for the elderly.
  •  Discuss the current economic pressure on healthcare systems and how perioperative medicine can be used to reduce these pressures.


Abigail Whiteman, consultant in anaesthesia and perioperative medicine at UCL, said: “Education about the perioperative pathway is the starting point to improving care, which is why we were keen to produce a high-quality course that we can share for free and reach out to a global audience via FutureLearn. We hope the course will highlight some of the excellent work being done at UCL in perioperative medicine while also shining a spotlight on projects being run at a local, national and international level in this field.”

Sharon Drake, Director of Clinical Quality and Research at the Royal College of Anaesthetists, said:  “This course represents an innovative approach to clinical education. As a College, we are committed to finding new ways to improve the care we provide patients.  We have appointed perioperative medicine leads in more than 170 hospitals to improve the integration of care and develop improved patient pathways.  This new course will ensure the multidisciplinary team are aware of the benefits of perioperative medicine to their patients.”

Mark Lester, Director of Partnership Development at FutureLearn, commented: “We’re delighted to be offering this course for practising healthcare professionals and are very proud of its endorsement from the Royal College of Anaesthetists. It’s fantastic to be able to bring UCL’s excellence in perioperative medicine and world class research to professionals across the globe.”

As with all FutureLearn courses, the course can be taken for free or there is the option to upgrade to receive additional benefits.


Notes to Editors

For further press information, please contact:

Rachel MacPherson, PR Executive, FutureLearn

About FutureLearn

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling online learning through conversation. With over 6 million people from over 200 countries across the globe – a community that is continuously growing – it offers free and paid for online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, as well as organisations such as the European Space Agency, the British Council and Cancer Research UK. FutureLearn’s course portfolio covers a wealth of areas to promote lifelong learning for a range of applications including general interest, an introduction to university studies, continuing professional development and fully online postgraduate degrees.

About UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. We were the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. We are among the world’s top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has over 39,000 students from 150 countries and over 12,500 staff. Our annual income is more than £1 billion. | Follow us on Twitter @uclnews | Watch our YouTube channel

About the Royal College of Anaesthetists

Anaesthesia is the largest single hospital specialty in the NHS. The Royal College of Anaesthetists is the professional body responsible for the specialty throughout the UK, and it ensures the quality of patient care through the maintenance of standards in anaesthesia, critical care and pain medicine.

Related stories on FutureLearn

FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now