Spotlight on… the elective surgical hub programme

GIRFT has successfully rolled out the elective surgical hub programme, supporting hospital trusts to ring-fence planned surgery and reduce waiting times for routine operations and procedures. The focus has been to help all hubs meet standard clinical and operational principles and to work with Integrated Care Systems (ICS) to implement standardised surgical pathways for patients requiring high volume, low complexity (HVLC) procedures such as cataract removal, hernia repair, or joint replacement operations at scale.

GIRFT is also delivering the Hub Accreditation Scheme which enables trusts to seek formal assessment of their hub sites against a defined set of criteria. A successful pilot ran from January to March 2023, with eight hubs achieving accreditation. A new cohort of nine hubs started the process from April, and the scheme is being rolled out nationally with quarterly cohorts to accredit all hubs over the next two years. 

In addition, we are working with established hubs to capture and share their learning and resources. An online toolkit was recently launched in collaboration with the South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre to offer a comprehensive library of resources on setting up and running a surgical hub. 

The Patients Association and GIRFT have also teamed up to undertake research into the patient experience and to learn what works best for patients who are referred to a surgical hub for their operation. The case studies and insights from this research will be shared with hubs to help them improve their processes and communication with patients.