GIRFT appoints clinicians to lead new paediatric and neonatal workstreams

The Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme has recruited leading clinicians to steer new workstreams focusing on paediatric and neonatal care.

Three consultants have been appointed to lead on reviews for:

  • paediatric critical care;
  • neonatology;
  • paediatrics orthopaedic (trauma and elective) surgery.

A fourth consultant has been appointed as clinical advisor to the paediatric critical care workstream.

The appointments come as GIRFT increases the scope of its work in reviewing hospital services for children and babies, to identify and address unwarranted variations and help improve treatment and care. The new clinical leads will visit hospitals across England meeting clinical teams and managers to review trust data for their specialties, with the aim of highlighting what is working well and where improvements could be made.

The GIRFT clinical leads incorporate their findings in a national report for each specialty, setting out recommendations to reduce variation in clinical practice and improve the quality of care and outcomes for patients. The new appointments are:

1. Paediatric critical care

Professor Kevin Morris will head up the GIRFT paediatric critical care workstream. A consultant in paediatric intensive care at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, he has more than 20 years’ experience in the speciality, with particular interest in the management of traumatic brain injury, lung mechanics and ventilation.

He said:

“The Getting It Right First Time workstream provides a real opportunity to improve services for children and their families. I am looking forward to working with, and learning from, colleagues around the country, hearing about excellent practice, and being able to shine a light on variations in care.

The goal of the critical care pathway is to deliver an efficient, high quality service as close to the child’s home as possible; the GIRFT process has the potential to drive change and to improve patient-centred outcomes.”

GIRFT has also appointed Dr Peter-Marc Fortune as the clinical advisor to the paediatric critical care workstream, to support Professor Morris. Dr Fortune is a paediatric intensivist and Associate Medical Director at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Dr James Fraser, president-elect of the Paediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS), endorsed the appointments and said: “PICS welcomes the appointment of Professor Kevin Morris and Dr Peter-Marc Fortune as the new leads for the paediatric critical care workstream.

Both are extremely respected clinical leaders who will bring the necessary experience to interpreting variability that exists across our units. PICS looks forward to working closely with Kevin and Peter-Marc to meet the challenges facing children’s critical care.”

2. Neonatology

Dr Eleri Adams is the new clinical lead for GIRFT’s review into neonatology. She has been a consultant neonatologist at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for 17 years, and was clinical director of the service for ten years. She has led Thames Valley Neonatal Network since it was set up in 2003. Dr Adams said:

“I am delighted to be leading the neonatology workstream for GIRFT. It will be a fantastic opportunity to work with colleagues across the country to improve our understanding of variations in outcome and to work on solutions to improve the quality of care for babies and their families.”

Dr Adams’ appointment was welcomed by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM). Chief executive Kate Dinwiddy said:

“BAPM is very pleased to endorse Dr Eleri Adams as the GIRFT clinical lead for the neonatology workstream.

As an organisation which champions quality improvement and advocates for all babies and their family to receive the highest standard of perinatal care, we are excited to work with Eleri to implement the findings of the national review.”

3. Paediatrics orthopaedic (trauma and elective) surgery

Mr James Hunter will lead on the GIRFT paediatrics orthopaedic (trauma and elective) review. Mr Hunter is a paediatric trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, where he has been a consultant since 1995. He said:

“GIRFT is even more important for children than adults because of the effects of growth, which spoils seemingly good results as often as it rescues poor ones. My aim is to get children access to the same standard of care wherever they attend, using the nation’s resources wisely.”

Mr Hunter’s appointment was welcomed by the British Society of Children’s Orthopaedic Surgery (BSCOS). President Tim Theologis said: “The British Society for Children’s Orthopaedic Surgery (BSCOS) is delighted with the appointment of Mr James Hunter as lead of the GIRFT paediatric orthopaedic workstream. Paediatric orthopaedic clinical practice will greatly benefit from decreased geographical variation and increased efficiency. GIRFT will help improve services for the benefit of patients.

Mr Hunter is a highly respected colleague, both nationally and internationally. He has an excellent combination of skills and experience to drive this project to completion and will be strongly supported by our membership.”

Professor Tim Briggs, Chair of GIRFT and National Director of Clinical Improvement for the NHS, added:

“I am delighted to welcome these clinicians to lead and strengthen our focus on improving health care for children and their families.

They are each equipped with the knowledge and expertise to not only identify the issues and challenges within their speciality, but also to work out how those challenges can be overcome in order to bring about significant improvements for young patients.”

27 February 2019