Through its national review of spinal services, GIRFT identified the spinal surgery team at Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust (NCA) as an exemplar in improving day case rates for patients receiving posterior lumbar decompression/discectomy (PLDD) surgery (to remove abnormal disc material which is causing pain).
GIRFT has now worked with the trust to detail its good practice and learning, to share with other spinal units working to improve their day surgery rates. Guidance on the Day Surgery Discectomy Pathway: Northern Care Alliance approach is now available to read and download on FutureNHS.
Members of the NCA team will be presenting their approach team at a webinar on 27th October 2022 (1pm), with an opportunity for attendees to learn more and ask questions.
In 2019, the trust discharged 35% of lumbar discectomy patients (all age groups) on the day of surgery. Rates were impacted by the pandemic, but are now improving again – by April 2022, NCA’s rolling 12-month performance had increased to 45.5%.
This increase has been achieved through the use of day surgery eligibility criteria and a person-centred approach to physiotherapy.
GIRFT’s best practice guidance is supported and co-badged by The Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS), British Association of Spinal Surgeons (BASS), British Association of Day Surgery (BADS), the National Spine Network, and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. It is intended to be used alongside GIRFT’s Posterior Lumbar Decompression/Discectomy Best Practice Pathway, which outlines an effective pathway to drive an increase in day surgery and help to reduce elective length of stay.