The Government’s recent announcement confirmed that over 50 new surgical hubs will be delivered across the UK – building on the 91 hubs already in operation – to tackle the elective care backlog and reduce waiting times. But how will NHS Trusts be supported to deliver surgical hubs, particularly given the ongoing workforce challenge that the health service faces?
What is a ‘surgical hub’?
Championed by the UK Government and the NHS, surgical hubs form a crucial part of the NHS’ long-term resilience planning, and they will be a central feature in plans to tackle the elective care backlog. The hubs propose the separation of elective care and emergency care in order to streamline the delivery of elective procedures, whilst minimising any potential disruption from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Designed as modular, standalone units, surgical hubs will provide the much-needed clinical capacity to support the 6.6 million backlog the UK currently faces. The innovative facilities can be delivered away from main hospital buildings on almost any type of land site – at a remarkably fast rate when compared with traditional brick and mortar facilities – providing the crucial infrastructure that NHS trusts across the country need now. Their modular nature also means they can be relocated if needed, meaning NHS Trusts can move the facility to where it is most needed.
How will Trusts staff the units?
It is no secret that workforce is another significant challenge facing the NHS today and into the future. Healthcare professionals are becoming increasingly burnt out, with large numbers of staff leaving the profession as a result of overworking and an ever-increasing pressure to deliver. This has been further intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, whereby the physical and emotional strains of working on the frontline started to really take their toll on an already exhausted workforce. The scale of the elective backlog may also be deterring the NHS workforce of the future from joining the field.
Surgical hubs must therefore seek to increase capacity without increasing the strain on the existing NHS workforce, and providers of these units must take their role in supporting NHS staff seriously if surgical hubs are to be a real success.
Rethinking the role of private healthcare providers
Understanding the urgency of the workforce crisis through both lived experience and close working with the NHS, the team at Remedy Healthcare Solutions has designed its surgical hub offering to provide more than just the physical surgical hub unit. We have the capability to confidently and accurately quality assure Trusts with full turnkey surgical hub solutions – providing the physical infrastructure and the insourced workforce needed to operate the facilities and get them up and running quickly and efficiently.
By supporting NHS Trusts with a combined solution, we are enabling Trusts to reduce the inefficiencies and time lags in the management of modular facilities. Trusts do not have to negotiate the transition between modular providers and insourcing partners when working with our expert team, which in turn, alleviates the mounting pressures facing Trusts whilst enabling patient outcomes to be prioritised from the outset.
Our insourcing offering seeks to meet the individual staffing needs of Trusts, meanwhile our dedicated recruitment team ensures that the staff we recruit are local to the facilities and are SPS registered, providing insourcing solutions that have long-term resilience to disruption, ultimately enhancing the cost-efficacy of our solution
Prioritising staff wellbeing, development and work-life balance
Surgical hubs require highly trained NHS staff to undertake vital surgery procedures. Many NHS workers will carry out insourcing jobs outside of their typical NHS working week as an additional source of income, or for the opportunity to further develop their surgical skills. However, insourcing can sometimes be associated with lengthy travel times to reach the site and can also mean long evenings or weekends away from home staying in hotels to carry out the work.
With a view to change the insourcing culture for NHS staff, Remedy Healthcare Solutions are rethinking the way insourcing in the UK is done. Our priority is placing insourced NHS staff as close as possible to their home location to minimise the amount of time spent travelling to and from jobs. This has many benefits – not only saving time and money for NHS staff, but also supporting a better work-life balance, reducing the environmental impact of travelling long distances regularly, and retaining NHS talent within that locality.
Remedy also supports and provides coaching and mentoring services for all staff to continue their learning and development during their work in our units, including supporting registered professionals to maintain registration and providing practice learning placements and assessment. Our insourced staff have access to the latest equipment and technology in the market, and therefore benefit from the opportunity to further develop and broaden their surgical skillsets.
Is your Trust considering plans to deliver a surgical hub?
To find out more about how Remedy Healthcare Solutions is supporting the NHS to expand its clinical capacity and tackle elective backlogs through our surgical hub offering, visit https://remedy-healthcare.com/about-us/ or get in touch with me directly via 07944 965377 or [email protected].
Alternatively, you can be in touch with a member of our team to find out how our work could support your organisation via 020 3750 2150 or [email protected].