Surgical hub wins recognition for meeting top clinical and operational standards

The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) has been successfully accredited as an elective surgical hub delivering high standards in clinical and operational practice. 

The scheme, run by NHS England’s Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 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.

Surgical hubs, which are separated from emergency services, are part of plans nationally to increase capacity for planned care (referred to as elective care), with more dedicated operating theatres and beds.

The hubs exclusively perform planned surgery and mainly focus on high volume, low complexity (HVLC) surgery across six specialties – ophthalmology, general surgery, orthopaedics, gynaecology, ear nose and throat, and urology.

Hubs bring together the skills and expertise of staff under one roof, with protected facilities and theatres, helping to deliver shorter waits for surgery.  Because they are separated from emergency services, their surgical beds can be kept free for patients waiting for planned operations, reducing the risk of short-notice cancellations.

RJAH, based near Oswestry in Shropshire, was recently visited and assessed by the GIRFT team for accreditation and recognition that the hub is working to a defined set of clinical and operational standards on:

·            The patient pathway

·            Staff and training

·            Clinical governance and outcomes

·            Facilities and ring-fencing

·            Utilisation and productivity

RJAH is one of 31 hubs to date that have been accredited nationally – it has got the kitemark for both its adult and paediatric (children’s) services.

Mike Carr, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at RJAH, said: “This national accreditation applies to services for both adults and children, and recognises the clinical and operational excellence the Trust delivers to patients who need specialist elective surgery.

‘‘We are incredibly proud of the team for this achievement and the hard work and dedication that goes into delivering the highest levels of care.”

There are around 94 hub sites currently in operation in England and the scheme is being rolled out nationally with quarterly cohorts to accredit all hubs 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.

Professor Tim Briggs, Chair of GIRFT and NHS England’s National Director for Clinical Improvement and Elective Recovery, said: “We have been impressed with the professionalism and enthusiasm of the hub teams who are delivering outstanding care.

“All of the sites we accredited are focused on delivering safe and high-quality care, and 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 and, for some procedures, will be more likely to be able to go home on the same day.”


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