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Successful GIRFT Fellows programme expanded to include nurses and AHPs

Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) has announced an expansion of its successful Clinical Fellows programme for 2023/24, increasing the number in the annual cohort and including allied health professional (AHP) and nursing fellows for the first time.

The GIRFT Clinicals Fellows programme launched in October 2022 as a two-year pilot study, with a cohort of eight fellows from the fields of orthopaedic surgery, general surgery, paediatric surgery, urology and public health.

Throughout the year, they have taken part in data-driven projects utilising statistics, research methods, leadership skills, and patient involvement, mainly focusing on clinical improvement work to support the wider GIRFT programme, such as elective recovery, the high-volume low complexity (HVLC) initiative and environmentally sustainable healthcare. Most projects have aimed to provide evidence to support or counter an approach to healthcare provision with impacts expected in the medium- to long-term, with one project contributing to the success in increasing day-case rates for general surgery and overall throughput at an elective hub site.

The first cohort of fellows have collectively contributed to 17 peer-reviewed academic papers, with a further eight papers planned for the five fellows continuing beyond the first year. Together the cohort have also contributed to conference presentations, published clinical guidance and helped to strengthen links between the GIRFT programme and NHS England’s Greener NHS programme.

Under the expansion, the 2023-24 cohort includes 11 new fellows as well as the five continuing. In a collaboration with the Office of the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, the Office of the Chief Nurse and Greener NHS, this includes five AHPs and two nurses.

The work of the GIRFT programme relies on reliable data and robust evidence to highlight where there is variation in approaches to healthcare provision and how it can be addressed, so the work of this first cohort of GIRFT clinical fellows is invaluable in supporting the programme and the NHS in England as a whole. I am delighted that our successful fellows programme is now being expanded to include the work of AHPs and nurses, who will bring an alternative perspective and allow us to better acknowledge the impact of variation across the workforce. I know all the team are looking forward to an exciting and busy year ahead.”

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