Transformation Directorate

Elective recovery in the South West

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust will improve the experience of those waiting for elective surgery, by offering patients at home pre-surgery assessments so they are ready for their operations.

Patients will be supported to self-manage, with easy access to advice and information. This supports shared decision making and improves communication, avoiding unnecessary clinical care delays.

Through monitoring and greater visibility of those waiting for surgery, a coordinated prioritisation approach to waiting list management will offer care to those with most pressing needs. The solution aims to reduce the number of patients awaiting elective surgery through the improvement of processes between ‘decision to treat’ and the ‘day of surgery’.

Patient benefits include at home assessments which can be completed more rapidly for many more patients. This provides a greater chance of ensuring patients are fully optimised for surgery, reduces the risk of cancellations and improves their outcomes.

All surgical patients will be offered the new model. The estimate from other successful implementations is that around 90% of people will choose to use it.

Other benefits for the trust include having an increased pool of patients ‘ready for surgery’. This means that patients waiting can be brought forward in the event of slots being made available. This should help reduce overall waiting times for patients as well as ensuring no theatre slot is wasted.

The trust will also be able to make better use of theatres, gaining increased theatre use from efficient list booking across all three of the acute hospital sites.