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One third of all surgical hubs now accredited under GIRFT scheme

Nearly one third of all elective surgical hubs in England have now been accredited, following awards to a further seven hubs as part of a GIRFT scheme to ensure the highest standards in clinical and operational practice.

This brings the total number of hubs accredited to 31 since the scheme began in March 2023, out of the 94 hubs currently in operation.

The scheme enables trusts to seek assessment of their hub sites against a defined set of criteria. Accreditation is not mandatory, but it offers hubs external recognition that they work to a defined set of clinical and operational standards. The scheme is being rolled out nationally, with quarterly cohorts to accredit all hubs over the next two years.

Elective surgical hubs exclusively perform planned surgery and bring together the skills and expertise of staff under one roof, with protected facilities and theatres, helping to deliver shorter waits for surgery. Hub beds are designated for patients waiting for planned surgical procedures, and are protected from emergency admissions, reducing the risk of short-notice cancellations.

The seven newly accredited hubs are:

  • The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital – The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Croydon University Hospital Elective Surgical Hub – Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
  • Hospital of St Cross (Rugby) Elective Surgical Hub – University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust
  • North Tyneside General Hospital Elective Surgical Hub – Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Trafford Hospital Elective Surgical Hub – Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wycombe Hospital Elective Surgical Hub – Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • University Hospital of Hartlepool – North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

 

The accreditation scheme, run by the GIRFT programme in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons of England and supported by the Royal College of Anaesthetists, assesses hubs against a framework of standards to help hubs deliver faster access to some of the most common surgical procedures such as cataract surgeries and hip replacements. It also seeks to assure patients about the high standards of clinical care provided by the hubs.

Surgical hubs, which are separated from emergency services, are part of plans nationally to increase capacity for elective care with more dedicated operating theatres and beds. There are currently 94 surgical hubs across England, with around 35 more hubs planned to become operational over the next two years.

While it is not mandatory for trusts to seek accreditation, the long-term goal is for every elective hub to be accredited.

The GIRFT team assess the hubs against key clinical and operational domains:

  • The patient pathway
  • Staff and training
  • Clinical governance and outcomes
  • Facilities and ring-fencing
  • Utilisation and productivity

"All of the sites we accredited are focused on providing an excellent patient experience. GIRFT’s focus is on developing surgical hubs with the aim of improving patient flow so that patients have shorter waits for surgery, will be more likely to be able to go home on the same day, and have a better patient experience. We want to provide the assurance for patients and staff that these sites are delivering safe and high-quality care now and will continue to accelerate their progress and productivity in the future.”

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