General Surgery Services
These services focus mainly on the abdominal organs; stomach, gall bladder, small bowel, colon, rectum and anus. Benign skin conditions and hernias are also included within general surgery. This surgery is currently carried out at Lincoln, Pilgrim and Grantham Hospitals, with more complex cases seen at Lincoln and Pilgrim Hospitals only.
Why we need to change?
Our current service model is not sustainable. We have long waiting lists and planned operations are often cancelled to prioritise urgent cases or because medical patients need to use surgical beds. We are unable to recruit the permanent staff we need and we are not meeting national guidelines.
The service cannot always meet the demands of cancer related surgery, and this surgery is often cancelled because emergencies need theatres and medical cases need beds.
15% of planned and day case surgery was cancelled in 2017/18 and we currently only use our general surgery theatres 70% of the time available.
As with trauma and orthopaedic services, our senior clinicians tell us that separating their urgent work from their planned work prevents cancelled operations. Planned care sites have fewer cancellations of operations, better outcomes for patients, lower rates of readmission, reduced lengths of stay and reduced risk of infections and injuries.
What are the ‘emerging options’?
Our emerging option is to consolidate most elective care and make Grantham Hospital a ‘centre of excellence’ for elective short stay and day case General Surgery. Lincoln and Pilgrim Hospitals will provide some day case/elective care for patients needing complex surgery, those with complex needs. Outpatients will remain at all three hospitals.
The benefits of this emerging option could include:
- Far fewer cancelled operations
- Better clinical results for patients, lower rates of re-admission, reduced length of hospital stay and reduced risk of infections and injuries
- Improved job satisfaction, morale and productivity for our staff