Getting It Right in Orthopaedics follow-up shared with trusts

image illustrating surgical procedure

GIRFT has shared a follow-up pack on the orthopaedics specialty, which looks back at the substantial improvements seen in orthopaedic services since Professor Briggs held his first deep-dive visits to trusts in late-2012.

The follow-up’s findings show evidence of substantial improvement against all the key GIRFT metrics, meaning that the NHS is providing better quality orthopaedic care and getting better value for money. The headline findings include:

  • Revision rates have fallen every year since 2012, even while total activity and demand grows
  • Average lengths of stay have been reduced by a fifth, releasing over 368k bed-days
  • £696 million of operational and financial opportunities have been released to trusts

The NHS has achieved highly significant improvements in the orthopaedics specialty, which has led the way in using our data and evidence to improve quality of care. I am excited that my own specialty has set a benchmark for how we can identify and tackle unwarranted variation.”

“Substantial opportunities remain, both for orthopaedics and of course in over 40 other specialties that are now covered by the GIRFT programme. It is my greatest hope that this follow-up report serves to encourage and motivate us to keep improving and ensure that we provide the best quality of treatment and care and the best value in our NHS.

Professor Tim Briggs CBE, National Director of Clinical Improvement for the NHS and Chair of the GIRFT programme

Clinicians, managers and health professionals have been working together to implement GIRFT recommendations and improve the quality of treatment and care provided in their trusts. This follow-up shows that this hard work and commitment has had a substantial impact on tackling unwarranted variation.

The follow-up showcases examples of best practice in trusts, and highlights some of the key initiatives supported by the British Orthopaedic Association, National Joint Registry, NHS bodies and many others who have worked alongside GIRFT and supported the orthopaedics workstream.

The very first GIRFT publication in 2015 was a landmark report for the orthopaedic specialty, highlighting areas of excellence and areas for focus and improvement. This follow-up document is particularly welcome as it clearly demonstrates the significant progress made since that time.

Don McBride, President of the British Orthopaedic Association and consultant orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon at the University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust

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