Cannock Chase Hospital has now been awarded national 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, assesses hubs against a framework of standards to help them deliver some of the most common surgical procedures, such as cataract surgery and hip replacement, more quickly. It also seeks to assure patients about the high standards of clinical care.
The GIRFT team, including Prof. Tim Briggs (ninth from the left), and next to him, Prof. David Loughton CBE, Group Chief Executive (in blue suit), with Cannock Chase Hospital staff.
Cannock was recently visited as one of eight hubs selected for the pilot to be 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
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.
Cannock exclusively performs planned surgery and mainly focuses on high volume, low complexity (HVLC) surgery across ophthalmology and orthopaedics.
Hubs bring together the skills and expertise of staff under one roof, with protected facilities and theatres, helping to deliver shorter waits for surgery.
Hub beds are designated for patients waiting for planned surgical procedures, and are protected from emergency admissions, reducing the risk of short-notice cancellations.
Professor David Loughton CBE, Group Chief Executive of RWT and partners Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “I’m delighted to have secured this national accreditation for our excellent facility at Cannock.
“We recently welcomed Professor Briggs and his team so they could see for themselves the great work that’s being done.
“With no emergency provision or A&E department, efforts have been able to be concentrated on elective surgery both during and after COVID-19 at Cannock.
“This accreditation will only enhance the tremendous work being delivered there by a fantastic group of staff and enable our patients continue to see the benefits of this.”
Professor Tim Briggs, Chair of GIRFT and NHS England’s National Director for Clinical Improvement and Elective Recovery, said: “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."
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.
GIRFT is a national NHS England programme which gathers and collates clinical performance data to identify changes that will help improve patient treatment and care.