Elective hubs: patient and staff insights

Shot of surgeons working on a patient in an operating room

To get the NHS back on track and support post-COVID-19 elective recovery, the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme has been working with local health care systems towards reducing the backlog of patients waiting for operations and procedures, and to improve access to care and outcomes.

As a key element of the NHSEI elective recovery plan, in collaboration with GIRFT, the High Volume Low Complexity (HVLC) programme was developed, focusing on 27 standardised patient pathways across six specialties. Initially rolled out in London, the HVLC programme is now being scaled up nationally.

As part of seeking continuous improvement of its service, including gathering insights to inform best practice surrounding surgery generally, NHS England commissioned the Health Innovation Network, the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for South London, to deliver a qualitative evaluation of the effects of deployment of elective hubs on patient and staff experience.

It found that:

  • While the rationale behind the introduction of the HVLC programme was clearly understood and generally accepted by staff, views on whether implementing the HVLC programme in their respective hubs had been successful were mixed.
  • There were examples of success stories, with hubs reducing waiting lists, improving theatre efficiency through streamlined processes, and establishing fruitful relationships with other hospitals within their Trusts and beyond.
  • Patients were overall very satisfied with the quality of care received at the hubs, including how quickly their operation was scheduled, and how caring the clinical staff were.

A series of lessons and recommendations, highlighting good practice and seeking to improve overall staff and patient experience of the hubs, were drawn from the insights gathered. They can be read in our full report here.

Download the report

View the full findings and recommendations

Click here to see the report