Redesigning clinical pathways to improve productivity and reduce elective waiting lists for high volume, low complexity (HVLC) procedures

15 Jun 2022
PUU1 - 4A
Quality & clinical improvement

The NHS electives recovery plan outlined the scale of the impact COVID-19 has had on elective care, with millions of people now waiting longer for planned operations and a rapidly increasing waiting list.

Between 50 and 60 per cent of people waiting for surgery need a high-volume procedure, such as cataract removal, hernia repair or joint replacement. Since mid-2020, Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) has been working to enable health systems and regions to tackle this backlog of patients through its high volume low complexity (HVLC) programme.

Focusing on 29 procedures in six high-volume specialties – ophthalmology, general surgery, trauma and orthopaedics (including spinal surgery), gynaecology, ENT and urology – HVLC supports ICSs and regions to identify and utilise system-level opportunities by agreeing standardised pathways, pooling capacity and resources, increasing capacity through effective surgical hubs, and improving theatre utilisation.

This session will offer a brief overview of the HVLC programme and its objectives, followed by best practice examples, practical solutions and innovations from frontline teams who have successfully adopted HVLC principles to redesign pathways and carry out low complexity procedures at scale, reducing their elective backlog.

Tim Briggs CBE, Chair of the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme and National Director of Clinical Improvement for NHS England and NHS Improvement - Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT)
Elena Bechberger, High Volume Low Complexity (HVLC) Programme Director - NHS England
Krishna Vemulapalli, Consultant orthopaedic surgeon and clinical lead and honorary senior lecturer at Queen Mary’s University of London - Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
Omar Yanni, Clinical director for trauma and orthopaedics - East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
Paul Saunders, Clinical lead of the South Warwickshire Accelerated Transfer (SWAT) programme - South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
Steve Young, Consultant orthopaedic surgeon and enhanced recovery programme lead - South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
Thangadorai Amalesh, Consultant upper GI surgeon and divisional director of surgery - Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust