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Changes at Grantham hospital have significantly reduced number of cancelled operations for Lincolnshire patients, says ULHT medical director

Back in 2018, our Trust Orthopaedics Team started working differently to transform the way they delivered surgery in Lincolnshire, writes Dr Colin Farquharson, Medical Director at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

It meant separating out elective (planned) surgeries from emergency cases, bringing those elective cases over to Grantham with ring-fenced beds and theatre lists so long-planned surgeries could go ahead.

It significantly reduced the number of cancelled operations for Lincolnshire patients, improved their outcomes, and has led to our orthopaedics team being among the best performing in the country.

Dt Colin Farquharson
Dt Colin Farquharson

Separating elective care and turning Grantham into a COVID-free ‘green’ site also significantly helped in delivering urgent surgical and cancer treatments during the pandemic.

Fast forward to the present day, and the successes and learning from this orthopaedics transformation paved the way to introduce this model of care to other clinical specialties. Grantham and District Hospital is now home to the Grantham Surgical Hub, which was one of the first eight locations nationally to be awarded accreditation in March last year, recognising its high standards in clinical and operational practice.

The hubs perform planned surgery and mainly focus on high volume-low complexity surgery across various specialties including ophthalmology, general surgery, orthopaedics, gynaecology, ear nose and throat, and urology.

It was a privilege to last week show our work at Grantham to a team from the Royal College of Surgeons of England, led by their President, Tim Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell and his team were shown our two new £5.3m theatres, which opened to patients in November 2022 and introduced to ward staff on the Surgical Unit.

There was also an afternoon of learning, with presentations from consultants representing a number of surgical specialties, including orthopaedics, urology and general surgery. The day concluded with a final discussion about research, highlighting one of the many projects being supported in the county’s hospitals.

We are really proud of the surgical services we are developing at Grantham and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from patients who have travelled not just from the Grantham area but across Lincolnshire and beyond to receive their care.

This is also testament to our colleagues who work at Grantham, whose compassionate approach to care was recognised and praised in Mr Mitchell’s closing comments during his visit.

Finally, it’s not just our patients who are benefitting from the development of services at Grantham. The surgical hub is also supporting the training of our doctors, who have been able to enhance their learning by working alongside our experienced consultants.

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