GIRFT inspires dedicated joint-replacement service at north east hospital

Gara elective orthopaedic ward staff at the Friarage Hospital

A dedicated joint-replacement service at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton is getting patients home faster and reducing waiting times, and GIRFT has been credited as an influence on the change.

The arthroplasty service at the hospital, part of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is now carrying out up to 20 planned procedures a week, thanks to 12 dedicated beds on the Gara elective ward, innovative advanced planning and support from specialist nurses and physiotherapists.

Gara acting ward manager Kathryn Young said the initiative had been welcomed by ward staff as a chance to make a really positive difference to patients.

“It’s giving patients better outcomes and reducing the amount of time they have to spend in hospital. If we get them back home quickly they will do more for themselves and recover better and are less likely to be readmitted to hospital. It’s win win for everybody.”

Less time in a hospital bed means reduced risk of infections and a faster return to independence and their own homes. This also allows more patients to be treated each week, helping to ease pressures on waiting lists.

The GIRFT orthopaedic national report, released in 2015, discussed the need for ring-fenced orthopaedic beds in order to minimise the risk of infection, as well as access to specialist staff and rehabilitation services. During 2018 and 2019, Professor Briggs re-visited more than 330 trusts and orthopaedic units to support clinical teams in delivering the operational improvements and efficiencies recommended by his national orthopaedic review.

Click here to read about Friarage Hospital’s success.

You can read the 2015 GIRFT orthopaedic report by clicking here and the follow-up report by clicking here.

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