Leading the way in innovative care
The Trust continues to be on the forefront of world class cancer care in several areas.
In the last year Dr Nadine Collins, Consultant Clinical Scientist in Molecular Diagnostics (who was part of the Institute of Cancer Research team that discovered the BRCA2 gene in 1995, the discovery of which revolutionised the treatment and prevention of this type of breast cancer) and her team looked at the DNA of some 600 patients, working not just with clinicians at the Royal Surrey but several neighbouring Trust's as well.
At Royal Surrey we are very fortunate to be one of the few district general hospitals able to carry out genetic sequencing for our patients, it is more commonly found in the larger teaching hospitals. Previously, patients with the same type of cancer all underwent a similar pattern of treatment, but the DNA testing we are carrying out is now helping guide clinicians on their therapy decision and allowing them to tailor therapy to an inidividual's genome.
This ground-breaking work is delivering real benefits to patients today and opening the door for future treatments that could help countless patients in the years ahead.
Throughout the year our teams are visited by outside bodies and groups, some keen to learn from them, others to look at how we can improve our work. We have had a number of visits from Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT), the national programme designed to improve the quality of NHS care by reducing unwarranted variation. They have met with our general surgery department, trauma and orthopaedics and our Ear Nose and Throat teams and praised a number of areas of good practice, whilst offering advice on how we can further improve. Our Diabetes Team also hosted a visit from Partha Kar, NHS England Diabetes Clinical Director, who was impressed with the service and how it is engaging with partners in the Diabetes Strategic Networks and Diabetes UK patient groups. As part of their feedback they highly commended the Diabetes Team for their work.
There was further praise from the Joint Advisory Group on GI Endoscopy (JAG), who visited the Trust in early December as part of a full review of the service from patients, clinical, nursing and management perspectives. The visit was hailed a great success which highlighted how positive the unit felt. The group remarked on the extremely low level of morbidity and nil mortality for the size of the unit and the complexity of the procedures they undertake. They passed on four action points but felt the Royal Surrey Endoscopy Unit is one of the best they have assessed.
Improving care for the elderly
A clinical team helped to reduce the time older people with frailty spend in hospital by around a quarter.
The team lead by Consultant Geriatrician, James Adams, established a pathway of care that has seen the average length of stay for these patients reduced by 24 per cent, saving 40,000 hours patients would otherwise have spent in a hospital bed.
The team has also established a dedicated Older Persons Short Stay Unit, ensuring these patients, who often present to hospital with signs of confusion, falls, and mobility issues, have access to the right care and intervention.
The team, which includes doctors, nurses, therapists and social care practitioners, used quality improvement methodology to rapidly change pathways for identifying and assessing patients with frailty.
The project, known as the Acute Frailty Pathway, has successfully reduced the time patients spend in the Emergency Department by 19 per cent and has also increased the number of same day and next day discharges from the emergency floor.
In the process it has saved almost £2 million and was shortlisted for a national award.
Providing compassionate care throughout treatment
We take pride in the care that our staff provide to patients throughout their treatment.
We put great value in the care of patients at the end of their life. That is why we were so pleased with results of our National Audit of Care at the End of Life 2018 scores which were consistently better than the national average.
The audit is a national comparative study of the quality of care experienced by the dying person and those important to them during the last admission leading to death in acute, community hospitals and mental health inpatient facilities.
Dr Andrew Davies, Palliative Medicine Consultant, said: “Getting the support, care and compassion for those patients at the end of life right is so important.
“Communicating openly and honestly and making decisions about care plans together, with patients and their families, is central to giving the best possible experience at a very difficult time.
“I’m really proud of the team here at Royal Surrey. We have worked hard to deliver outstanding care and compassion and I am delighted to see this reflected in the results.”
The Trust has undertaken a major refurbishment and re-design of its Emergency Department (ED). Phases one and two are now complete and the final phase will be completed in summer 2019 and will lead to an increase in ‘majors’ capacity. The total cost of the re-design will be approximately £8m. The redesign has been accompanied by changes in staffing mix and the addition of new roles. The Trust also completed phase one of the expansion and re-design of the ambulatory care unit (AEC) with phases two and three due to be finished at the end of 2019.
The expansion of the AEC will allow the Trust to increase the number of patients seen in this environment and in turn, reduce the number of actual admissions to the hospital where these admissions are not necessary. To support this ambition, in 2018/19 the Trust has invested resource in its ‘rapid response team’ which is a team of healthcare professionals who support patients who are discharged on the same day they arrive to return home safely, and with the appropriate package of care in place.
This year the Trust officially opened its new £5.67 million state-of-the-art urology centre that will deliver cutting edge treatment and research for patients from across Surrey and beyond.
The Stokes Centre for Urology was built with £2.37m from more than 9,000 donations from the community through the Prostate Project. Consultant Urological Surgeon, Professor Stephen Langley, who is one of the world’s leading prostate cancer specialists, was joined by HRH the Duke of Kent for the official opening.
The building is named after dedicated fundraiser and Prostate Project Chairman, Colin Stokes, and features a cutting edge brachytherapy theatre, ultramodern consulting and treatment rooms, as well as a small laboratory for research.