Chorley & South Ribble Hospital is one of eight surgical hubs to be awarded accreditation as part of a pilot scheme to ensure the highest standards in clinical and operational practice.
The scheme, run by NHS England’s Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons of England, assesses hubs against a framework of standards to help hubs deliver faster access to some of the most common surgical procedures such as cataract surgeries and hip replacements.
Surgical hubs, which are separated from emergency services, are part of plans nationally to increase capacity for elective care with more dedicated operating theatres and beds.
The hubs exclusively perform planned surgery and mainly focus on high volume, low complexity (HVLC) surgery across various specialties including ophthalmology, general surgery, orthopaedics, gynaecology, ear nose and throat, and urology.
Hubs bring together the skills and expertise of staff under one roof, with protected facilities and theatres, helping to deliver shorter waits for surgery.
The hub beds are designated for patients waiting for planned surgical procedures, and are protected from emergency admissions, reducing the risk of short-notice cancellations.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals’ Chorley site was recently visited and assessed by the GIRFT team for accreditation and recognition that the hub is working to a defined set of clinical and operational standards on:
- The patient pathway
- Staff and training
- Clinical governance and outcomes
- Facilities and ring-fencing
- Utilisation and productivity
Chorley & South Ribble Hospitals was one of eight surgical hubs selected for the pilot out of 89 hub sites currently in operation. Plans are now underway for a national roll-out of the scheme to other hub sites across England. While it is not mandatory for trusts to seek accreditation, the long-term goal is for every elective hub to be accredited.
Professor Tim Briggs, Chair of GIRFT and NHS England’s National Director for Clinical Improvement and Elective Recovery, was part of the team undertaking the hub assessments, saying: “We have visited some excellent hub sites and we have been impressed with the professionalism and enthusiasm of the hub teams who are delivering outstanding care. All of the sites we accredited are focused on providing an excellent patient experience and several are setting new standards with regards to day-case surgery and innovative models of care.
“GIRFT’s focus is on developing surgical hubs with the aim of improving patient flow so that patients have shorter waits for surgery, will be more likely to be able to go home on the same day, and have a better patient experience.
“We want to provide the assurance for patients and staff that these sites are delivering safe and high-quality care now and will continue to accelerate their progress and productivity in the future.”
The accreditation scheme is a collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons of England and is also supported by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.
Kevin McGee, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “It is fantastic to have an independent endorsement for what I know has been the case for some time now – that Chorley is a truly great place for patients across Lancashire and South Cumbria to receive their elective procedures. It provides state-of-the-art facilities as well as offering excellent care and I am very proud of all the colleagues who have made this happen.”
Mr Steve Canty, Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon and Divisional Medical Director for the Trust’s Surgical Division at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “Over recent years, Chorley and South Ribble Hospital has received significant investment into its surgical facilities which more recently includes new theatres, the Lancashire Eye Centre, and the Surgical Enhanced Care Unit. Overall, it is really positive for our patients and staff that our Chorley Elective Surgical Hub has been awarded accreditation as part of this pilot scheme to ensure the highest standards in clinical and operational practice.”
The other seven hubs newly accredited are:
- King George Hospital Elective Surgical Hub – Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Cannock Chase Hospital – The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
- Grantham and District Hospital Elective Surgical Hub – United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
- South West Ambulatory Orthopaedic Centre at the Nightingale Hospital - Royal Devon University Healthcare Foundation Trust
- Sussex Orthopaedic Treatment Centre at Princess Royal Hospital – University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust
- Braintree Community Hospital Orthopaedic Hub – Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust
- Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Elective Surgical Unit – Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust