Eight more elective surgical hubs have been awarded accreditation as part of a GIRFT scheme to ensure the highest standards in clinical and operational practice.
The hubs, which exclusively perform planned surgery, 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.
The eight newly accredited hubs are:
- Manor Hospital Elective Surgical Hub – Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
- Clatterbridge Hospital Elective Hub – Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Wrightington Hospital Elective Hub – Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- St Michael’s Hospital Elective Surgical Hub– The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
- Mount Vernon Hospital Elective Hub – The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Barts Health Orthopaedic Centre – Barts Health NHS Trust
- Kent and Canterbury Elective Hub – East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
- Wansbeck General Hospital Elective Hub– Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
The accreditation scheme, run by the 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. It also seeks to assure patients about the high standards of clinical care provided by the hubs.
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. There are currently 94 surgical hubs across England, with 40 more hubs planned to become operational over the next two years subject to approval via NHS England’s Targeted Investment Fund (TIF) process.
The GIRFT team assessed the hubs against key clinical and operational domains:
- The patient pathway
- Staff and training
- Clinical governance and outcomes
- Facilities and ring-fencing
- Utilisation and productivity
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.
“GIRFT’s focus is on developing surgical hubs with the aim of improving patient flow so that patients have shorter waits for surgery, are 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 supported by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.
Some of the accredited hubs were set up during the COVID pandemic in order to provide protected facilities for planned surgical care and have now evolved into permanent facilities supporting the recovery of elective services.
While it is not mandatory for trusts to seek accreditation, the long-term goal is for every elective hub to be accredited.