June 2021 - GIRFT stakeholder newsletter - Read online

stakeholder newsletter

June 2021

NEW additions to the GIRFT Best Practice Library 

The GIRFT BPL continues to grow and additional content is now available, including:

Spinal – a new page for spinal surgery (now separate from orthopaedics), including the national report, surgical pathways and best practice case studies.

Litigation – our recently released Learning From Litigation Claims best practice guidance, produced in collaboration with NHS Resolution: download here

Ophthalmology – a new guide to getting high volume cataract hubs running successfully, in collaboration with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists: click here

High volume low complexity (HVLC) – a new guide to support NHS regions and system leaders in the development of local HVLC delivery plans, including theatre principles, standardised pathways and specialty gateways.
We continue to add content regularly, linking through to GIRFT gateway metrics on Model Hospital when they become available, so keep checking for new pages and information.

Sign up for series of regional 'all about GIRFT' webinars  

A series of regional webinars to help junior doctors, nurses, Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) and students learn more about how GIRFT can benefit patients are taking place throughout June and July. Dates and details for the seven clinical improvement webinars can be found on the GIRFT website here.

GIRFT clinical leads from across a range of specialties are lined up to present, encouraging non-consultant grade doctors, nurses, AHPs and students to understand and embed the GIRFT improvement methodology and get involved in clinical improvement. 

New guidance on checking over-65s for stroke risk in vaccination centres

GIRFT's clinical leads for stroke - David Hargroves and Deb Lowe - have collaborated with the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) on guidance for carrying out heart rhythm checks in vaccination centres to help reduce risks associated with stroke.

Pilot projects have demonstrated the benefit of giving people over 65 attending vaccination centres the option of an additional check to establish if they have atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular heart rhythm that is a major cause of stroke. Oxford AHSN and GIRFT are now sharing guidance to help systems that wish to set up similar schemes.

Targeted AF detection in COVID-19 vaccination clinics is available on the Oxford AHSN website. Read more here.

Study shows minimal variation in COVID-19 mortality between trusts  

A new study from the GIRFT programme has shown there was no evidence of unwarranted variation in rates of death for patients cared for in NHS hospitals across England during the first wave of the pandemic.

Variability in COVID-19 in-hospital mortality rates between National Health Service trusts and regions in England, is published in The Lancet’s EClinicalMedicine journal, and concludes that in-hospital mortality rates between the seven NHS regions in England and the 126 non-specialist hospital trusts included in the analysis was modest. However, hospitals with more beds and a higher proportion of patients admitted to critical care had better outcomes. Read more here.

Thanks as stalwart GIRFT vascular lead steps down 

One of the first clinical leads to be appointed to the GIRFT programme has stepped down from his role heading the vascular surgery workstream. Professor Mike Horrocks joined GIRFT as a clinical lead in 2015 and his national report for vascular surgery was published in 2018.

GIRFT Chair Professor Tim Briggs praised Mike for his passion and dedication to the programme. Read more here.

News from our partners

Orthopaedics lead wanted to support Midlands elective delivery

NHS England and NHS Improvement is recruiting for a clinical lead for orthopaedics in the Midlands region. The candidate will provide advice, input and support to the Midlands Elective Delivery Programme (MEDP), supporting ICSs in the regional delivery of the High-Volume Low Complexity (HVLC) agenda, development of elective surgical hubs, adaptation and adoption of standardised HVLC pathways and top decile GIRFT performance in outcomes and productivity. More details here.

National Stroke Service Model sets out best practice for care

NHS England and NHS Improvement has published the National Stroke Service Model outlining best practice for stroke care in England. The model sets out how integrated stroke delivery networks (ISDNs) in all areas of the country will bring services together to design optimal stroke care for patients. You can find the Model on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website here. For information, contact

NICE publishes new impact report on diagnostic pathology

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a new impact report on diagnostic pathology. The report explores the progress being made in diagnostic pathology, as well as identifying where improvements still need to be made, and cites GIRFT as a key partner in supporting implementation. You can access the report on the NICE website, or read a blog about it here.

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