Spotlight on… High Volume Low Complexity (HVLC) programme

GIRFT’s successful High Volume Low Complexity (HVLC) programme is a data-led transformation programme established to support the recovery of elective care services and a key element of the wider NHS elective recovery programme.

Our HVLC programme team works with trusts and integrated care systems (ICS) to reduce the backlog of patients waiting for planned operations, as well as improving clinical outcomes and access to services. This is achieved by:

  • adopting best practice, delivering excellent top decile clinical outcomes;
  • agreeing standardised pathways, reducing variation and learning from the best;
  • ensuring equity of access to support an ageing population; and
  • sharing and pooling capacity and resources, to facilitate mutual aid when and where needed.

The six HVLC specialties in focus are those with the highest volume of low complexity surgical procedures – ophthalmology, general surgery, trauma and orthopaedics (including spinal surgery), gynaecology, ENT, and urology – and GIRFT has developed a series of standardised pathways to help teams improve.

We’re also supporting systems to ring-fence elective capacity and create surgical hubs to carry out low and medium complexity procedures at scale within defined standards, as well as working nationally to improve theatre productivity, maximising the effectiveness and throughput of surgical theatres through improvements across the elective pathway.