Programme to improve care quality and efficiency seeks new clinical leads

The programme designed to improve clinical quality and efficiency within the NHS, Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT), has announced it is recruiting new clinical leads as it grows to cover more than 30 specialties including mental health and emergency medicine.

This latest development follows the announcement in November last year that an additional £60m of funding would be given to GIRFT to expand the scheme.

GIRFT aims to use trust data and insight from medics on the frontline to uncover differences in the way services are delivered and use this information to improve care for patients.

The programme also encourages the sharing of best practice between trusts, and proposes improvements within specialties to improve patient outcomes and bring about greater efficiencies for services.

Talking about the programme, Professor Tim Briggs, chair of GIRFT and NHS Improvement’s national director of clinical quality and efficiency, said: “Because GIRFT is led by clinicians, frontline medics in the specialties being reviewed welcome the programme because they can share both their best practice and their challenges with people that understand clinical service.

“We now need more clinicians to roll out that approach to more specialties.

“The orthopaedic pilot has already helped deliver efficiencies and savings of up to £30m, with another £20m forecast for 2015/16. But importantly, good patient outcomes and safety have remained paramount throughout the programme.”

His colleague, Dr Jeremy Marlow, NHS Improvement’s executive director of operational productivity, added that the specialities added to GIRFT’s programme would benefit from the clinical approach.

He said: “By rolling out the GIRFT methodology to more clinical areas I am confident we will start to see the same level of efficiencies and savings we have seen in orthopaedic surgery, which will ultimately lead to even better patient outcomes

Marlow also stressed the programme’s success in “not only identifying unwarranted variations in service, but getting to the heart of why they occur and how best they can be rectified”.

The regulator added that the initial 71 trusts who have responded to a Department of Health survey so far following the orthopaedic surgery pilot indicate direct savings and/or benefits of between £20million and £30million with an additional £15million to £20million of savings and benefits forecast for 2015/16

The current specialties and clinical leads are:

  1. Orthopaedics, Clinical Lead, Professor Tim Briggs; Orthopaedic Spinal Surgery, Clinical Lead, Mike Hutton; Neuro Spinal Surgery, Advisor, Justin Nissen
  2. General Surgery, Clinical Lead, John Abercrombie
  3. Vascular, Clinical Lead, Professor Mike Horrocks
  4. Urology, Clinical Lead, Simon Harrison
  5. Cranial Neurosurgery, Clinical Lead, Nick Phillips
  6. Ear, Nose and Throat, Clinical Lead, Andrew Marshall
  7. Paediatrics, Clinical Lead, Simon Kenny
  8. Oral and Maxillofacial, Clinical Lead, Maire Morton
  9. Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Clinical Lead, Rob Sherwin
  10. Ophthalmology, Joint Clinical Leads, Caroline McEwen and Alison Davies; Advisor, Lydia Chang
  11. Cardiothoracic Surgery, Clinical Lead, David Richens
  12. Medical Negligence, Clinical Litigation Lead, John Machin 

The newly announced specialties are:

  1. Acute and General Medicine
  2. Dentistry
  3. Breast Surgery
  4. Plastic Surgery and Burns
  5. Intensive and Critical Care
  6. Emergency Medicine
  7. Imaging and Radiology
  8. Cardiology
  9. Geriatric Medicine
  10. Outpatients
  11. Respiratory
  12. Dermatology
  13. Neurology
  14. Rheumatology
  15. Gastroenterology
  16. Diabetes and Endocrinology
  17. Pathology
  18. Renal
  19. Mental Health
  20. Anaesthetic and Perioperative Medicine


People interested in finding more about GIRFT and the lead clinician roles, or who wish to apply for a role, should visit

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