Tackling wider hospital pressures part of improving NHS theatre efficiency

24 October 2017

 

NHS Improvement has publicised new data which argues that the NHS could perform 280,000 more operations next year, using existing staff and theatres, if it planned theatre slots more effectively. NHS Improvement is set to publish the full findings in the near future.

The data found that early finishes accounted for the biggest loss of operating time with lists finishing on average 62 minutes early. The loss of these operating hours cost the NHS £280 million last year.

After analysing the theatre data of 100 NHS trusts in England, NHS Improvement argues that hospitals could perform additional operations by planning their lists more effectively and reducing late starts and early finishes.

The report highlights measures by Croydon Health Services NHS Trust to increase their efficiency of theatre lists.

 

The director of policy and strategy and NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:

“Trusts are looking for ways to work more efficiently and reduce delays for patients.

“Any support – particularly through programmes such as this – is invaluable.

Other factors including staffing and the availability of beds and wider hospital services also make a big difference.

“We hope this innovative thinking in Croydon will benefit many other trusts.

“However it is important to remember this is not just about scheduling.

“Other factors including staffing and the availability of beds and wider hospital services also make a big difference. When these are at full stretch – as is the case now – it is much harder to use theatres as efficiently as trusts would like.”

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