Joint leads to continue work of urology national review

Two new clinical leads have been appointed to lead the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) urology workstream as the programme prepares to begin revisits to trusts.

Kieran O’Flynn (above left), a consultant urological surgeon at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, and John McGrath (above right), a consultant urologist at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, replace Simon Harrison as GIRFT’s joint clinical leads for urology.

Mr Harrison retired at the end of 2019, after publishing GIRFT’s national report on urology in July 2018 and working on a subsequent handbook comprising a guide to setting up urology area networks (UANs) and good practice case studies to share with trusts.

The 2018 national report presented 18 recommendations to improve the care pathway for patients, including rolling out dedicated urological investigation units (UIUs) to support greater emphasis on outpatient services and increase day surgery procedures, extending the role of specialist nurses to lead on outpatient work, and establishing UANs (clusters of adjacent urology departments which can provide comprehensive coverage of services).

2019’s case study handbook, which was sent to all trusts, offered examples of some of the good work and innovations seen during the national review, as well as information on how to set up a UAN.

Mr O’Flynn and Mr McGrath will now be leading GIRFT’s revisits to trusts, presenting refreshed urology data and looking at the progress of recommendations from the national report.

Professor Tim Briggs, chair of the GIRFT programme and national director of clinical improvement for the NHS, said: “Kieran and John and both hugely respected in the world of urology and I am delighted to have them on board with GIRFT as we move into the second phase of our work to help improve urological services.

“The recommendations in Simon Harrison’s national report have been instrumental in driving significant changes for the better in units across England, but there is always more we can do. I look forward to seeing further innovation and improvement as our revisit process gets under way.”

Mr O’Flynn, who is the immediate past president of the British Association of Urology Surgeons (BAUS), said: ” I’m delighted to be joining the GIRFT team with John McGrath.

“Simon Harrison’s excellent report signposted many of the challenges facing the specialty. With a workforce shortfall in urology and with the rising urological requirements of an ageing population, there is a pressing need to develop the urological workforce, while ensuring that standards are maintained.

“The GIRFT report identified significant national variation in the management of common conditions, and I look forward to helping support the progress of urology area networks, enabling the development of specialist care and improving core services in elective and emergency care.”

Mr McGrath, who is a clinical director of the south-west NHS Genomic Medicine Centre, said: “The GIRFT programme has enormous potential to deliver further improvements in urological care for patients across England by building on the strong platform that Simon Harrison and his team have already established.

“I am looking forward to supporting the ongoing development of UANs as well as accelerating the spread of best practice in areas such as day case surgery. Specialist nurses are right at the centre of high quality urological care and we have a great opportunity to working alongside the British Association of Urological Nurses to look at how we develop these roles further.”

President of the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS), Mr Duncan Summerton, welcomed Mr O’Flynn and Mr McGrath’s joint appointment and said: “The GIRFT programme and the whole urological community are very fortunate in having such talented, enthusiastic and experienced surgeons as Kieran O’Flynn and John McGrath as the new GIRFT leads for our specialty.

“Both Kieran and John are highly respected consultants. I am sure they will be able to build on the excellent work carried out by Simon Harrison and will continue to develop the excellent working relationship we have with GIRFT. All my colleagues within BAUS look forward to working with them in their new roles.”

7 February 2020