GIRFT takes a closer look at neurosurgery for children

The Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme has welcomed a new clinician to work on its cranial neurosurgery workstream, looking specifically at neurosurgery for children.

Mr Paul May, a consultant neurosurgeon with more than 30 years’ experience, will be working with the GIRFT team as a clinical lead focusing on paediatric neurosurgery. GIRFT is grateful to the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool for enabling the programme to benefit from his expertise.

Mr May will work closely with Nick Phillips, GIRFT’s clinical lead for cranial neurosurgery, who published his national report in June 2018. They will embark on visits to neurosurgical centres and England’s dedicated paediatric neurosurgery units when the GIRFT programme begins neurosurgery re-visits later this year.

Professor Tim Briggs, chair of the GIRFT programme and national director of clinical improvement for the NHS, said: “We are very fortunate to have procured the services of Paul May, who is hugely respected in his field, and very grateful to The Walton Centre for allowing us to have some of his time and expertise.

“Our deep dives and national reports are only a part of the GIRFT process, as we work towards driving change at pace. The re-visits which follow them enable us to see the evidence of practice change and develop our insight further. I look forward to seeing how this focus on paediatric neurosurgery can help ensure the best possible outcomes for young patients.”

Mr May, who is also chair of the Trauma Programme of Care Board at NHS England & NHS Improvement, said: “The Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme is now progressing to a review of paediatric neurosurgical practice alongside Nick Phillips’ ongoing adult cranial neurosurgery review. This follows Mike Hutton’s spinal surgery review, and is in line with the upcoming paediatric surgery, paediatric critical care and neonatology national reviews.

“I hope this combined work will help to create a national picture of practice, as well as helping us understand and reduce unwanted variation and allow self-reflection. We want to engage with clinicians and managers, improve the patient pathway and the patient/clinician experience, and improve value in the NHS along the way.”

President of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS), Mr Neil Kitchen, welcomed Mr May’s work on paediatric neurosurgery and said: “We are delighted to see the GIRFT programme moving into this field of work, and very happy that Paul May will be leading this important review.

“We look forward to seeing how he and the team can bring about quality improvement and help young neurosurgery patients receive the highest standards of care.”

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