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23 August 2011

University Hospitals Bristol shortlisted for national award

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal award for its work in improving the efficiency of the Trust's operating theatres.                     

In the first 12 months of implementing the Productive Operating Theatre Programme, UH Bristol has saved £2 million by reducing out of hours operating lists across its 26 operating theatres.

The theatre team behind the Productive Operating Theatre Programme has been shortlisted along with seven other NHS trusts across the country in the Efficiency in Acute Service Redesign category of the inaugural HSJ Efficiency Awards.

The programme aims to improve patient experience and the efficiency of theatres by making changes to the ways in which the multi-disciplinary theatre team works. Surgeons, anaesthetists and theatre staff have all worked together to make the programme a success.

Sarah Nadin, Divisional Manger, Surgery Head and Neck Division, says:

 "To begin with we concentrated on the way in which theatre lists and sessions are organised. We knew that by ensuring each consultant was allocated with a fixed theatre session it would have a marked effect on productivity and improve the smooth flowing of the theatre day. By doing this we have halved our waiting list initiatives.

"The theatre teams driving the Productive Operating Theatres Programme have worked tirelessly with the programme, in striving to improve the patient experience and safety of theatres, at the same time as improving efficiency and the cost effectiveness of the clinical services we provide. This is a real model of success that we will be looking to roll out in other areas of the Trust."

Caroline Daley, Programme Lead at the Trust, said:

"We started the programme in 2010 following the success of our productive ward programme which we implemented in over 47 wards across the Trust. Such programmes empower the staff involved to suggest more productive ways of working to improve the efficiency of the service we provide to our patients.

"Theatre teams at the Bristol Eye Hospital have focussed on two areas; they have designed and implemented a 'short notice protocol' for cataract patients, whereby patients are brought in for their operation with one hours' notice. Patient feedback has been extremely positive and the principles are being rolled out across the Trust.

"They have also significantly improved the number of operating lists that start on time by reducing the number of last minute issues they have to address before they can start. By making sure that the right equipment is available and ensuring that the correct first patient on the list has been prepared by ward staff, 99% of operations in the last four months have started on time. Such measures are helping both to improve patient experience and to maximise theatre efficiency."

The team will find out if they have won on at the London Hilton, Park Lane on 14 September.