Northern Trust embraces 100 day challenge to improve its surgery care

A skilled project team have helped successfully bring about changes to improve care for patients having surgery at Hartlepool hospital.

The team at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust were set a 100-day challenge to transform speciality surgery at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

They launched the project with two clear aims – reducing cancellations and improving patient experience. Whole heartedly accepting the challenge, they set to work with surgery teams from North Tees and Hartlepool.

Frontline staff were given the skills and knowledge to empower them to create their own innovations, test new ideas and gather any lessons learnt as the project progressed

Clinicians worked to identify four areas which were agreed as the starting point for the 100 day challenge. Focusing in on specific procedures and the processes followed, the review meant that patient experience was improved, cancellations were reduced and there was less waste overall.

This was all made possible by breaking away from the traditional ways of working, and embracing new methods. For example, extended recovery time was put in place on a Monday night and a once monthly all day surgery list has been introduced at Hartlepool hospital.

Even though the challenge has ended, the work won’t stop there. The team are now looking at how they can bring more surgery lists to the University Hospital of Hartlepool, and how they might be able to reduce overall waiting times for surgery.

Christina Joseph, Senior Project Manager, explains: “The aim of the challenge was to create a project where teams in orthopaedics, speciality surgery, anaesthetics and theatres could join together as a multidisciplinary team to focus on improving better utilisation of speciality surgery at Hartlepool.

“The aims of the project were to reduce waste, reduce the number of cancelled operations and to increase the amount of elective procedures carried out.

“The ultimate aim of these changes is to improve patient care.”

The challenge was led by trust activity manager Jackie Knott with the support and guidance of Christina Joseph.

Jackie said: “The success of the project has been a result of a fully engaged team including senior clinicians and support services. Those involved have worked together to provide a better patient experience, as well as transfer some procedures which have traditionally been carried out at the North Tees site, therefore increasing the number of elective procedures at Hartlepool.

“The project has raised the profile of Hartlepool, as well as preventing cancellations of surgery on the day due to bed pressures.

“I’d like to thank all staff involved for making it such a success.”

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