The initial Orthopaedic Surgery review established the GIRFT methodology and became the pilot for the current programme. Professor Tim Briggs and his team visited over 140 providers, covering more than 200 hospital sites. His original report coined the term “Getting It Right First Time”.
The report included a raft of recommendations, many of which have been adopted by orthopaedic trusts and delivered real benefits:
- The recommendation to adopt cemented hip replacements for patients aged over 65 has led to a 10% increase in the use of this method, saving an estimated £4.4m p.a.
- Reduced length of stay for hip and knee operations has freed up 50,000 beds annually
- Trusts have moved to more ring-fenced orthopaedic beds, reducing cross infection
- An increase in localised consolidated working between trusts, sharing resources and maximising the number of procedures carried out
- 75% of trusts have renegotiated the costs of implant stock and rationalised their use
- Greater awareness of costs has led to reduced use of expensive “loan kit”
- Litigation claims are down from 1,758 in 2013/14 to 1,505 in 2015/16
- A GIRFT “Pricing Letter”, providing transparency of the prices different orthopaedic trusts pay for prosthesis, is now used by consultants selecting implants
- In 2016 the British Orthopaedic Association used GIRFT principles in published guidance to ensure best practice amongst its members
In a survey carried out by the NHS more than 70 of the trusts visited during the orthopaedic review responded: they reported total savings of between £20m and £30m for 2014/15 as a result of adopting GIRFT’s recommendations. If extrapolated across the more than 140 providers visited, these savings would increase to an estimated at £40m to £60m. Furthermore, the trusts that responded forecast a further £15m to £20m of savings for 2015/16, estimated at £30m to £40m if replicated across all the orthopaedic trusts.
Professor Briggs is currently carrying out revisits of all the trusts he visited during the first review to gauge changes and improvements since the initial GIRFT report.