The programme comprises a series of 40 surgical and medical work streams, each led by a prominent clinician chosen from the specialty they are reviewing. Each clinician heads a project to compile a data and insight driven report into their specialty, combining publicly available information, including Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), other relevant registry or professional body data, and the results of a questionnaire issued to all the trusts being reviewed. The report will look at a wide range of factors, from length of stay to patient mortality, and individual service costs through to overall budgets.
A report is produced and issued to every trust being reviewed, which is then followed by a meeting at the trust – known as a ‘deep dive’ – with medical staff and senior trust managers. At each deep dive the clinical leads review the findings with their peers, which provides more context to unwarranted variations and opens up a discussion around individual practice and any challenges the trusts face. It is also an opportunity to share best practice and any solutions that have already helped reduce variations.
After at least 40 trust reviews have been completed, the clinical lead oversees the creation of a national GIRFT report into their specialty. The report presents the original data, GIRFT’s findings, examples of best practice and an action plan of proposed changes and improvements. Crucially this action plan provides detailed evidence of the benefits changes can bring and is supported by an implementation programme managed by GIRFT.
At trust level the recommendations found in each specialty are collated into a single implementation plan. Trust data is uploaded to the Model Hospital portal, which will be the gateway for accessing GIRFT information for all providers and commissioners.