Grantham and District Hospital has been named as one of eight surgical hubs nationally to be awarded accreditation for high standards in clinical and operational practice.
The hospital is part of a pilot scheme, run by NHS England’s Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons of England, which assesses hubs against a framework of standards.
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.
Vel Sakthivel, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Divisional Clinical Director at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are very proud that teams at Grantham and District Hospital are being recognised nationally for the outstanding work they are doing to support our patients, and the contributions they are making to our elective recovery programme.
“Our Grantham site has been pivotal in helping us to deliver our ‘hot and cold’ model, which separates planned and emergency care, since it was piloted in August 2018. Our elective hub is less likely to be impacted by emergency procedures, meaning we can see a greater number of patients and therefore reduce the time they spend waiting for surgery.
“Within Orthopaedics, the elective hub model supported us to reduce the average length of stay in hospital for patients having a hip replacement from 2.9 to 1.8 days over an 18 month period.
“Our ambition was to develop Grantham and District Hospital as a centre of excellence in our elective programme, and we are very excited to be able to share our learning in delivering this high standard of care to benefit people in Lincolnshire and beyond.”
Grantham and District Hospital 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.
He said: “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.
The accreditation is not the only accolade received by Grantham and District Hospital, with Orthopaedic teams also awarded with the National Joint Registry’s Quality Data Provider Award in October 2022.
The hospital was also the location of the UK’s first double keyhole minimally invasive hip replacement surgery in May 2022.
Two new theatres were opened at Grantham in November 2022 as part of a £5.3 million investment in services.