‘Super clinics R us’ as we strive to reduce our waiting lists, getting high numbers of patients the care they need, quicker

Staff member in an office with a patient

Pictured is complex spine consultant Ahmed Ibrahim, during our Back2Backs clinic

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the numbers on NHS waiting lists across the country rise, with more people facing longer periods to get the care they need.

We started to look at innovative ways to tackle this following the first wave, launching our Bones Project (BHRUT Orthopaedic NHS Elective Surgery) in October, which saw 250 patients operated on in just seven days.

Now, with less Covid patients across our hospitals and the reintroduction of paused clinics, we’re focusing our efforts on getting our patients the care they need and reducing our waiting lists.

We’re doing this by holding several dedicated clinics, redirecting our resources to carry out a large number of appointments, or procedures, focused over a short period of time, for example one day, or a week.

Yesterday (Monday 21 June) we launched Bones R Us, another focused week carrying out a high number of orthopaedic procedures – completing 11 operations on the first day.

On Sunday (20 June), we held the third day of our Scalpel Project, seeing 210 patients. We’ve previously held two of these clinics, seeing 160 patients on the first in May and 180 on the second earlier this month. Our General Surgery team will be holding several more over the coming weeks, aiming to see 1,000 patients overall.

And our Neurosurgery team held a spinal review super clinic – Back2Backs – on Saturday 12 June, helping prepare patients in need of surgery. They saw 119 patients on the day.

As well as spinal surgeons, therapists were also on hand to advise on post-operative care and prepare  for any future equipment needs, and preparation for surgery including blood tests and weighing were completed by a team of dedicated pre-assessment nurses, providing a one-stop-shop which was appreciated by patient Anna-Maria Everett.

Anna-Maria, from Rebridge, has been waiting to see a neurosurgeon for ten months due to having two herniated discs which is causing her neck pain, she also has carpal tunnel.

She said: “Everyone was amazing and it was fantastic that it was a one-stop-shop as it means I don’t have to wait again. It was well worth it.

“I got all my questions answered and everyone was lovely. It has been frustrating having to wait during the pandemic, however, everyone is in the same boat and the NHS has been under so much pressure. I have so much respect for how hard they are working.”

Anna-Maria, 57, is now booked in for some diagnostic tests on the nerves impinged by the herniated discs within the next few weeks.

Our Neurosurgery team receives around 200 referrals a week, about 85 per cent of these are complex cases requiring specialist spinal surgeons to treat them, which was why our spinal service was chosen for this super clinic.

The next step will be to hold a ‘super surgery’ weekend, planned for next month, to carry out the procedures for many of the patients seen at this super clinic.

Ahmed Sadek, consultant neurosurgeon, said: “Our one-stop-shop of being able to review patients and then expedite the next steps in their assessment or treatment on the same day avoids long wait times. We were also able to book those patient requiring surgery onto dedicated elective lists.

“We hope to be able to use this strategy to help maintain reduced waiting times for years to come.”

Pictured above is complex spine consultant Ahmed Ibrahim, during our Back2Backs clinic.


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