Patients’ experience Enhanced by new scheme

BGH's Enhanced Recovery Programme, pictured are: Dr Ali Mehdi, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Ian Crawford, Patient representative, Damon Sommerville, Senior Charge Nurse, Dr Nigel Leary, Clinical Lead for Planned Care
BGH's Enhanced Recovery Programme, pictured are: Dr Ali Mehdi, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Ian Crawford, Patient representative, Damon Sommerville, Senior Charge Nurse, Dr Nigel Leary, Clinical Lead for Planned Care

PATIENTS undergoing orthopaedic surgery at the Borders General Hospital are experiencing the benefits of an Enhanced Recovery Programme – the first of its type for a general hospital in Scotland.

A project team at NHS Borders involving nurses, allied health professionals, healthcare workers, doctors and managers introduced a programme for ’Enhanced Recovery’ (ERAS) with support from the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank, as a means to improve the experience for patients having hip and knee replacements.

This new process enables better recovery after surgery by reducing pain and the need for procedures such as blood transfusions and urinary catheterisations, allowing for walking on the same day of their operation.

As a result, patients can go home as early as a day after to around three days following their operation.

The success of the programme has been confirmed in feedback from an ongoing patient satisfaction questionnaire in Orthopaedics.

More than 95% of patients reported that they were highly satisfied overall with their stay in hospital. Over 85% of patients said they progressed quicker than they thought they would after their operation, and many had a more positive experience than previous surgical procedures.

Dr Ali Mehdi, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon commented: “The enhanced recovery process demonstrates that a focussed team approach, involving NHS Borders in embracing shared objectives, improved patient experience.

“Apart from benefitting individual patients, the enhanced recovery project has benefitted patients as a group in the local area by creating the ability to deliver quicker local care in a safe environment.

“It has made the delivery sustainable in the long term for the local community. At a national level, this has enabled the organisation to offer this service to patients from adjoining health boards.

Following the success of ERAS in orthopaedic surgery, the principles of the programme have now been applied to other types of problems such as hip fractures which are a problem of the elderly population. This programme is also the first of its type in Scotland.”

Calum Campbell, NHS Borders Chief Executive, added: “We aim to deliver high quality health care at the right time and in the most appropriate way and using ERAS helps us to do this.

“The medical and nursing staff have made considerable achievements through their commitment to providing an effective and efficient service to meet the needs of the people of the Scottish Borders.”