A hospital will increase the amount of planned operations for people across the Tees Valley – after it became one of just a handful of organisation from across the country to achieve a special accreditation.
The University Hospital of Hartlepool has been awarded surgical hub status, meaning it will offer a dedicated service for people needing non-urgent surgery.
The NHS England recognition is aimed at helping increase surgical capacity and efficiency, offering patients quicker access to common procedures.
At Hartlepool, these will include orthopaedic operations such as hip and knee replacements as well as gynaecology, surgical and breast procedures.
The site, run by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, is already the organisation’s dedicated elective hub.
Richard Jeavons, clinical director for orthopaedics, said: “This is fantastic news for Hartlepool and for our Trust, meaning more operations and quicker outcomes for so many people waiting for their planned operations.
“We are very proud to be one of just a few sites to gain this accreditation, which is a sign of the outstanding work all staff deliver on a daily basis and the additional work they have carried out during the application process.
“So much work has been dedicated over recent years to making Hartlepool hospital the Trust’s elective care centre – and this latest achievement is a reflection of that.”
Protecting planned operations
Surgical hubs are separated from emergency services, meaning beds kept free for patients waiting for planned operations.
Mr Jeavons added: “It protects the department against any other service pressures across the organisation, reducing the risk of short-notice cancellations.
“It also means we will be able to protect staff, facilities and theatre capacity, so we can carry out more procedures and deliver shorter waits for surgery. Ultimately providing our patents with the best possible care.”
Lindsey Wallace, care group director for collaborative care, said: “I want to thank every single member of the elective team, every single member of which has helped make this ambition a reality over the last few months.
“This is the start of a series of really exciting developments at the Hartlepool site.”
The scheme is run by NHS England’s Getting It Right First Time programme, in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons of England and supported by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.
It assesses hubs against a framework of standards to help them deliver some of the most common surgical procedures and aims to assure patients about the high standards of clinical care.
The NHS England team visited the hub at the end of last year to evaluate five elements – the patient pathway, staff and training, clinical governance and outcomes, facilities and ring-fencing, and utilisation and productivity.