General surgery report: how to improve clinical quality and efficiency


The general surgery report from the ‘Getting it Right First Time’ (GIRFT) programme sets out key recommendations to improve the standards of clinical quality and efficiency across NHS hospital trusts.

The GIRFT general surgery programme, chaired by NHS Improvement’s National Director of Clinical Quality and Efficiency, and Orthopaedic Surgeon, Professor Tim Briggs and led by Colorectal Surgeon, Mr John Abercrombie, reviewed data from all acute hospitals in England and conducted visits to 50 general surgery departments. 

What the report found

The report found that reducing unwarranted variations between hospitals in areas such as effective procedures, length of stay, infection rates and procurement costs will improve patient outcomes and help the NHS save £160 million in efficiencies each year.

Based on analysis and evidence, the report makes 20 recommendations for the NHS and its partners to implement over the next three years to ensure that patients are receiving the high-quality of care they expect and deserve. 

The recommendations came from these key themes:

  •        data and performance
  •        procurement change
  •        commissioning and care pathways
  •        surgical performance and efficiency
  •        emergency provision

With endorsement from the Royal College of Surgeons the GIRFT team will now be working with all trusts and the system to start implementing the recommendations to deliver real benefits to patients and £160 million in efficiencies each year.  

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