Enhanced Orthopaedic Service at St Michael’s Hospital: 4 months in…

An enhanced Orthopaedic service at St Michael’s Hospital in Hayle successfully went live in January 2019. Since that time, new investment has enabled the recruitment of additional anaesthetists, ward staff, theatre staff, pharmacists and therapists, as well as a new higher care-bay to support patients that would previously have been treated at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.
“From Jan 2019, the number of patients with more complex anaesthetic needs treated at St Michael’s has gone from an average of 14 per month to an average of 34 per month”, explains Programme Manager Catherine Cade.

“Theatre lists were moved to enable all planned inpatient lists to be run at St Michael’s, with 5 sessions of planned daycase lists remaining at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. Over the first 4 four months, 99.5% of planned inpatient orthopaedic operations were carried out at St Michael’s; that is 549 patients with just 3 patients, who were expected to need the back up of ITU facilities, having to be treated at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.”

“The team has worked hard to free up St Michael’s main theatres by fully utilising the treatment room”, Catherine continues. “There has been an increase from an average of 18 patients per month to an average of 88 patients per month since Jan 2019. We’ve also been able to open three new isolation rooms to provide care for people who previously could only have gone to the Royal Cornwall Hospital.”

Talking about the success of the service, Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Mark Norton said:

“The ability to treat almost all patients needing orthopaedic surgery at St Michael’s Hospital has dramatically improved access to treatment for around 30 percent of our patients. Many patients previously needing to be operated on at the Royal Cornwall Hospital suffered from long waiting times and repetitive cancellations due to a lack of available beds. This group of patients is now are able to have surgery at St Michael’s Hospital and wait less time for surgery and have a far lower risk of cancellation.”

Catherine concludes:

“We’re incredibly grateful for all the hard work that has been put into making the Enhanced Orthopaedic Service such a success. It’s been a real team effort and done at great pace! The project team will be going to Cheltenham in June to share our successes and lessons learnt with the national Getting it Right First Time Team. The changes continue to be embedded and are helping us in our aim of providing brilliant care for our patients.”