GIRFT issues 18 new national reports to boost NHS recovery and improvement

18 new GIRFT national reports

The Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme is supporting the collective NHS effort to restore routine care and help tackle waiting lists with the publication of 18 new national reports.   

The reports cover a broad spectrum of surgical and medical specialties, examining unwarranted variation in clinical practice and service delivery. They present wide-ranging recommendations to support NHS teams to build on the successful innovations introduced during the rapid response to COVID-19 and to deliver ongoing improvements in patient treatment and care.

You can read and download each of the reports on the FutureNHS platform by clicking here.

They are:

  • Adult critical care
  • Anaesthesia and perioperative medicine
  • Breast surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Emergency medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric medicine
  • Hospital dentistry
  • Maternity and gynaecology
  • Mental health: adult crisis & acute care
  • Neurology
  • Paediatric general surgery & urology
  • Pathology
  • Renal medicine
  • Respiratory medicine
  • Rheumatology

Professor Tim Briggs, Chair of the GIRFT programme and National Director of Clinical Improvement for the NHS in England, said: “We are delighted to be able to publish this wide-ranging volume of reports today and, in doing so, to play such a significant role in the collective NHS effort to restore surgical and medical care across England.

“Our GIRFT national reports can bring huge improvements across each specialty, demonstrating ‘what good looks like’ and allowing clinical teams to focus on reaching standards which will improve care for everyone.

“We are sure that these latest reports we will enable great progress in addressing national variations in equity of access to care, use of resources, and outcomes and experiences for millions of patients – not to mention improving the staff experience for the NHS workforce, who have worked so tirelessly through this unprecedented pandemic.”

The 18 reports have been authored by expert clinicians in each specialty, who have led a broad data gathering and analysis exercise and carried out meetings with teams in hospital trusts, to build a picture of local variations and national performance. The majority have already been shared with trusts, specialty associations and NHS stakeholders in order for improvement work to begin.

Examples of specific recommendations include:

  • Adult critical care: Developing more ‘enhanced care’ areas – hospital wards staffed and equipped to provide flexible enhanced care, including non-invasive ventilation – which can be used for post-operative care and help the transfer of patients back from critical care to other wards, but can also be switched to care for COVID-19 patients during surges.
  • Gastroenterology: Introducing more six- and seven-day services and extended hours, to boost capacity and improve patient flow, meaning patients can be seen more quickly and return home with minimal hospital exposure to COVID-19.
  • Mental health adult crisis and acute care: Ensuring a well-managed flow through the crisis pathway so that people receive the right treatment at the right time, reducing the risk of them reaching severe or crisis state the need for inpatient admission. One in four adults experience mental health problems each year, and at least half a million additional people are expected to experience mental ill health as a result of the pandemic.

Trusts and systems are being supported to deliver the improvements recommended, enabled by the guidance and resources of the GIRFT Best Practice Library and by the GIRFT High Volume Low Complexity (HVLC) programme, which aims to standardise patient pathways regionally and reduce waiting lists for common operations such as cataract surgery and knee replacement.

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