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Patients will help shape an agreement people will sign up to prior to surgery

9 November 2020

Around 6,000 patients who had a planned operation in orthopaedics or general surgery at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) in 2019 have been asked to share their views via a survey on what types of advice, support and tools they think will help improve people’s wellness prior to an operation. The feedback from the survey will be used to shape a Patient Charter - Are you Set for Surgery? - for the Theatres service across Morecambe Bay.  

The Patient Charter will be a ‘two-way’ agreement between the patient and the Trust and patients considered for surgery would be asked by their GP to sign up to the charter prior to their surgery taking place. Aims of the Patient Charter are to: 

  • offer patients resources to help them to be maximally fit for surgery 
  • help patients to make the decision as to whether surgery is the right option for them at that time 
  • offer patients the opportunity to consider alternative treatments like physiotherapy or lifestyle modifications that would be more suitable for their condition.  

By signing up to the Patient Charter, the Trust will strive to provide the very best care in the right setting and at the right time for the patient. The charter will be developed by patients, the Trust, Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, the GP Provider Alliance and Healthwatch Cumbria and Healthwatch Lancashire.  

Wendy Craig, Consultant General Surgeon/Cross Bay Lead, UHMBT, said: “A Patient Charter would help the Trust to deliver the right care, for the right patients, at the right time with better outcomes, fewer complications, shorter length of stay, more efficient, cost-effective surgery with a happy, well patient at the end of it.  

“In 2019/2020, the Trust saw a huge amount of resources wasted where nearly 20% of patients listed for an operation were cancelled prior to the event, and around half of these cancelled on the day. By developing a Patient Charter we hope this would reduce this effect, and help us to list patients who are truly signed up for surgery.  

“Another aim of the Charter is to promote the Population Health approach and build proactive wellness for the patient by empowering them to be more active in following a healthier lifestyle prior to surgery. This would reduce the risk of complications and improve their outcomes. Very often, patients continue to follow this approach following their surgery. ” 

The Patient Charter is being developed as part of the Build a Better Bay Transformation Programme. The Theatres service is working to modernise its theatres as part of the programme. The focus of the Theatres transformation work is to bring maximum benefits in terms of better treatment for patients, enhanced staff experience, reduced waits for treatment, greater efficiency and long-term financial sustainability.  

Wendy added: “The Theatres service is being transformed as part of the Trust’s recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19) to create more sustainable and efficient ways of working across the Bay for the future. 

“The coronavirus pandemic has meant that the Trust has had to be agile and innovative throughout 2020 so it is time to seize the opportunity to work differently, involving our patients and our Bay Health and Care Partners in these transformations.” 

The group of 6,000 patients were sent a text by the Trust today (Wednesday 4 November 2020) with a link to the survey which they have been asked to complete by Friday 13 November. Those patients who had an operation in orthopaedics or general surgery at the Trust in 2019 who have not received a text can contact surgery.feedback@mbht.nhs.uk  

You can find out more about the transformation work, Patient Charter and opportunities for patient involvement at https://www.uhmb.nhs.uk/get-involved/patient-experience/transforming-surgical-care