The Morecambe Bay #SetForSurgery perioperative wellness programme focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of patients before their surgery. It is a wide ranging programme, co-designed by colleagues both in the hospital and the community, as well as patients and voluntary organisations.
It is a whole system approach, setting patient expectations from the point of first GP consultation, embedded in surgical teams and backed up now with waiting list and preoperative assessment based personnel, safety netting the programme, to ensure that all patients are offered this approach. No-one loses their place in the ‘queue’, and no arbitrary targets are set, nor used to deny patients treatment – it is simply about delivering the best, for the maximum number.
All patients managed by general and orthopaedic surgery in Morecambe Bay will receive information on improving their health, this could include advice on accessing services such as smoking cessation, weight management or free passes to health centres. The vast majority of patients can benefit from some improvement to their health and fitness, and this can have a significant impact on their outcomes and recovery times. Some patients may be identified for further support to ensure they are in the best health possible ahead of their surgery.
This is a wide ranging programme with multiple key points of development. In addition to providing a central point of reference to patients, a large scale volunteering element is being planned to enhance the support available, details of which will be announced as this is developed.
We are looking for volunteers to help signpost patients through their health and wellbeing journey. Appropriate training will be given and you will be supported by a dedicated Volunteer Coordinator.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact Annette Shepherd, Volunteer Coordinator for further information on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01229 404434.
Whilst this approach is simply the “right thing” to do, it is worth highlighting that results from the initial pilot scheme were very positive. Of the 130 patients who took part, 80% exhibited improvement in at least one risk factor e.g. weight loss, regular exercise habit, stopping smoking ; after a three month period. In addition 3% had improved their health to such a degree they no longer wished to have surgery; conversely two patients who declined taking part in the programme had their surgery cancelled on the day due to health risk factors requiring improvement.
We will be sharing more on the #setforsurgery programme as it develops.