The report sets out a series of ways to improve the delivery of NHS urology services and offer a better patient experience. It is expected that increased use of dedicated urological investigations units, outpatients’ services and day surgery will provide swifter diagnosis and treatment without needing to admit patients. In turn, this will reduce unnecessary admissions, length of hospital stays and help improve waiting times for those requiring admission for surgery.
What the report found
This report highlights the need for a better career structure for specialist urological nurses to extend their role and help deliver more treatment in an outpatient setting. It also recommends greater consultant focus on emergency care, helping to provide definitive diagnosis and treatment for emergency admissions — such as urinary retention, and urinary tract stones, which result in an estimated 6,000 patients a year being admitted to hospital.
The recommendations bring opportunities for efficiencies and savings of up to £32.5m while also improving patient care.
The report’s author consultant urologist Simon Harrison presents 18 recommendations to improve the care pathway for people requiring urology procedures. The key measures include:
- the national roll-out of dedicated urological investigation units (UIUs) to support greater emphasis on outpatient services and increase day surgery procedures
- extending the role of specialist nurses to lead on this outpatient work
- freeing up on-call consultants to provide consultant-led emergency urology care in every trust