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News - Enhanced Recovery summit

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Enhanced Recovery summit


The contribution our staff made to an innovative approach to patient care to speed up the successful recovery after surgery was recognised at a national launch summit this week.

The RD&E was instrumental in the development and adoption of The Enhanced Recovery programme which is being rolled out across the NHS nationally.


On Monday 30 April a London summit event was held to launch the publication Fulfilling the potential: a better journey for patients, a better deal for the NHS which sets out how patients can benefit from the good practice learned and shared through this initiative.


Summit speakers included Minister of State for Care Services Paul Burstow MP, NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh and Professor Sir Mike Richards CBE, Chair of the Enhanced Recovery Partnership.


The event was an opportunity for clinicians to share their experiences and learning from the Enhanced Recovery work for planned and emergency surgical and medical care. RD&E consultants Mr Nigel Acheson and Mr John McGrath were national advisors to the NHS Enhanced Recovery Partnership on the care of gynaecology and urology patients. They fielded questions as members of the Expert Panel discussion at the event, and colleague, consultant anaesthetist Dr Colin Berry presented a talk about the added value of incentivising commissioning of Enhanced Recovery in terms of encouraging a greater pace of change.


The Royal Devon & Exeter trialled and developed The Enhanced Recovery programme with patients who had hip and knees replacements, and major bowel, urology and gynaecology operations at Wonford hospital.


Consultant urologist Mr John McGrath (pictured) said: “Essential to the success of Enhanced Recovery is the involvement from the outset of patients in decisions about their care. We know that patients who feel informed, assured and involved are more likely to understand what is happening to them, what to expect and what role they can play to get back on their feet sooner.


“The success of this work would not have been achieved without the commitment of staff at the Royal Devon & Exeter and the support and confidence in us of our patients.”

Mr John McGrath


Key aspects of Enhanced Recovery includes thorough assessment before an operation to ensure the patient is in the best possible physical condition and the hospital treatment is planned to reduce the physical impact of surgery on the body so recovery is quicker and with fewer complications. Patients on the Enhanced Recovery Programme can be discharged from hospital and return home once they are eating and drinking, and they are able to get up and about with appropriate pain relief and when clinically safe for them to do so, patients can return home.


Running in parallel with clinical care, are advances in technology and surgical techniques. The RD&E has appointed in recent years more consultant surgeons who can perform laparoscopic or ‘keyhole’ surgery and the Trust invested in new theatre suites for this work.


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