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Better patient flow in cardiac and thoracic surgery could save £45m a year in England

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 11 April 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1624
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

The greatest potential gains in cardiac and thoracic surgery in England would come from improvements in the patient pathway, a report has found.1

Operating on the day of admission and reducing cancellations, length of stay, and nights in critical care could save as much as £45m (€52m; $64m) a year, the lion’s share of a potential £52m that could be saved if all units operated as economically as the top quartile do.

The figures come from a report by David Richens, a cardiac surgeon, as part of the Get It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme created by Tim Briggs, who is now director of clinical quality and efficiency at NHS England. The programme aims to reduce unwarranted variation in service and practice and will ultimately cover 35 specialities.

Richens does not find much to complain about in surgical competence at the …

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