Barts Health NHS Trust are planning to launch a series of high-volume low-complexity (HVLC) hubs within specific specialties, allowing patients to receive surgery quicker.
The impact of the pandemic and redistribution of resources during Covid-19, meant that the number of patients on the waiting list for an operation at the trust, significantly increased to the highest it had been in two years. This initiative is hoped to help clear the backlog.
In order to put the plans into motion, patients have been classified as it relates to the urgency of their treatment required, with priority given to services with the longest waiting lists. Ear, nose and throat (ENT), ophthalmology, urology, orthopaedics and gynaecology, currently all account for a third of the total waiting list.
Urology Consultant, James Green, said: “The launch of a HVLC hub for urology is a welcomed development and should provide the much-needed investment and resources. This should help the thousands of patients who have had their operations delayed by the pandemic.”
Senior Theatre Nurse, John Peak, said: “Patients with less complex surgeries in these areas will now be seen quicker and can be discharged home, in most cases, on the same day. This contributes to a better patient experience and journey.”
The urology and ENT services at Whipps Cross Hospital have just started tackling their waiting lists for non-complex planned surgeries, following the suspension during the pandemic.
Expert hubs in urology, ENT and ophthalmology will be developed at Whipps Cross. The hubs will be matched based on the on-going development of speciality hubs in orthopaedics at Newham hospital, complex surgery at The Royal London Hospital, with heart and cancer surgery continuing at St Bartholomew’s hospital.
There will also be the development of local hubs for general surgery and gynaecology at the King George Hospital and the Homerton hospital
ENT consultant, Kiran Jumani, explained: “With thousands of patients waiting more than 18 months for planned surgery, the HVLC programme is aimed at supporting elective recovery and development of standardised patient pathways across regions.
“Super lists’ as they are called shall incorporate procedures that require no particular expertise and could be performed by any ENT consultant in large volumes, increasing the throughput, but maintaining the safety standards as it is the same procedure being performed continually, and allows us to set up a watertight clinical pathway for these patients.”
The main aim for all providers across north east London is to create high-volume low-complexity hubs in those areas, ensuring they are the most beneficial to the majority of patients on their waiting lists.