Smarter bed management and using designated specialist teams for key cardiothoracic surgery procedures will deliver better outcomes for thousands of patients suffering life-threatening or debilitating chest, heart, and lung conditions, according to a new national report from the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme.
What the report found:
Changes to the way cardiothoracic surgical services are organised and delivered in England will bring substantial benefits for patients suffering from conditions such as blocked arteries, lung cancer, and heart valve disease.
Mr David Richens, cardiothoracic surgeon and author of the report, identifies 20 recommendations to improve practices, process and outcomes. His national report into cardiothoracic surgery in England follows an in-depth outcomes data review of the speciality combined with insight from the clinicians and managers that deliver the service across the 31 cardiothoracic units in the NHS in England.
Among the core recommendations are:
- more efficient bed management by ensuring surgery on day of admission is delivered routinely for cardiothoracic patients, helping reduce delays and time spent in hospital
- ring-fencing beds on intensive care units (ITU) and general wards for the care of cardiothoracic patients
- sub-specialisation for certain critical procedures
- the use of less invasive thoracic surgery known as VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery) for lung resection surgery