Patients undergoing bowel surgery in Lincolnshire’s hospitals are benefitting from improved and speedier recovery thanks to the introduction of a new way of working.
The colorectal enhanced recovery programme, run by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, has transformed the care of bowel surgery patients over the last five years.
It is aimed at empowering patients in their own recovery, reducing the time they need to spend in hospital following an operation, reducing complications and giving patients a better overall hospital experience.
It has resulted in more than 1,000 patients being cared for in a different way at Lincoln County Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital in Boston and Grantham and District Hospital since the programme was launched.
Most patients are now admitted on the day of surgery and they don’t have to fast for as long before surgery as previously. This helps to reduce the stress patients experience in the run-up to their operation.
After surgery, patients are allowed food sooner after surgery to promote healing in the first stages of recovery. Patients are also given support to get up and walk around sooner following an operation, which reduces the possibility of complications. In addition, they also receive daily phone calls from colorectal nurses for 14 days post-surgery to help monitor their recovery.
Colorectal nurse Sarah Hill, said: “The programme has been a huge success, and now the majority of patients who require a bowel resection are now cared for in this new way.
“We hold an annual patient experience event for those patients who have been though the programme, so that we can learn from their experiences and make further improvements,” she said.
“I’m pleased to report that the overwhelming response has been positive and we’re really pleased that our patients feel they are getting the best care from us. Our figures show that since the programme was launched, most patients are admitted on the day of surgery, the length of time they spend in hospital following surgery is reduced and the number of patients who have to be re-admitted later due to complications has dropped significantly .”