More than 50 specialists and stakeholders gathered at an event in Nottingham, held to showcase the key findings and recommendations from the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) national report on ENT.
Andrew Marshall, author of the report and a consultant ENT surgeon at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), welcomed guests from across the country to an early evening reception held at the trust’s Postgraduate Medical Education Centre.
After cutting a celebratory GIRFT cake, Mr Marshall outlined some of the findings of his national review and gave a summary of the 23 recommendations.
The audience then heard examples of good practice from staff at NUH’s ENT and audiology departments, as well as from James Ramsden, an ENT consultant at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, about his trust’s work in ENT emergency care.
ENT UK president Professor Nirmal Kumar reflected on the recommendations in the report and what they mean for ENT units, and NUH medical director Keith Girling gave an overview of the positive impact GIRFT has had on the trust.
Mr Marshall and the GIRFT team visited 126 units across the country in their review, before publication of the national report in November 2019. The review found that thousands more people could be treated on a day case basis rather than having an overnight stay in hospital, allowing more patients to be treated without the worry or inconvenience of a stay in hospital, as well as making ENT departments more resilient to pressures on beds.
Other recommendations address how to reduce the number of on-the-day cancellations and how to make the best use of consultant outpatient time. Overall, the report identifies potential cost efficiencies of between £21.7m and £30.8m per year – money which could be freed up to spend elsewhere in the NHS.
Copies of the report are available to download here.
Mr Marshall said: “I’d like to thank colleagues for their support and for the buy-in from clinicians around the country, as well as drawing attention to the opportunities we have identified in this report.
“Notionally, I think we have got a good opportunity to give our patients a much better experience, give our staff a much better experience and to get the best value for money out of our ENT services in England.”
Professor Kumar added: “We welcome these recommendations and the good work that Andy and the team have done. The report shows the good practice that is already going on but also areas where we can improve, and we look forward to these recommendations being implemented.”