UCL Grand Challenges


Travelling for Surgery: Perioperative care and the global movement of patients and carers

A qualitative evaluation of a new perioperative medicine service.

An image of a doctor

7 February 2020


Grant: Small Grant
Year awarded: 2018-19
Amount awarded: £4,000


The project undertook a range of activities to explore the topic of perioperative care (the care that is given before and after surgery) and the global movement of patients and carers. This included;

  1. synthesising the evidence on the delivery of perioperative care to medical travellers by developing a systematic literature review on the topic;
  2. developing a stakeholder reference group to provide insight on how perioperative care is delivered to medical travellers in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) and advise on development of a future study;
  3. carrying out exploratory conversations with healthcare professionals from a wide range of professional groups (including, but not limited to: surgeons, medical anaesthesiologists, nonmedical anaesthetists, medical officers, ward nurses, hospital managers, family physicians in Argentina, Brazil and South Africa to identify the main challenges experienced;
  4. use of the information gathered in points 1-3 to develop an in-depth study on the delivery of perioperative care to medical travellers in LMICs .

As a result of the grant, the project team were able to solidify their collaboration and work with external partners and are now working on other research papers. A number of significant publications have arisen from the collaboration.

The team now intend to undertake a small study on medical travel in Europe and then use these findings to apply for a larger grant to explore medical travel processes in the Global South. 

Outputs and Impact

  • Book published: Critical Ethnographic Perspectives on Medical Travel (Routledge, 2020).
  • Chapter, 'Medical Travel' published in International Handbook of Critical Issues in Health and Illness (Routledge, 2020).
  • Contract signed with Rowman & Littlefield for publication in 2021 of Carework and Medical Travel: Exploring the emotional dimensions of caring on the move.