THE Countess of Chester Hospital has dramatically reduced the amount of time patients spend in hospital after surgery.
The improvements have come as a result of the introduction of a number of new procedures aimed at helping people recover more quickly.
An internal audit of the new systems has shown that patients spend on average four days less in hospital.
The hospital has introduced a new enhanced recovery programme, which combines a range of measures and technologies before, during and after surgery.
This dramatically reduces surgical complications and the amount of time it takes patients to recover enough to go home.
A 24 hour stay in an NHS general or surgical ward costs approximately £400 – rising to £1,500 per day if complications require the expertise of the intensive care unit – which means that the Countess of Chester is saving more than £1,000 per patient, money which can be reinvested into the hospital.
Consultant anaesthetist Dr Nicole Robin said: “We introduced these new systems to improve the standards of care and these early signs are encouraging.Š
“Patients prefer to recuperate at home, and it is in everyone’s interest to make sure they are well enough to be discharged as quickly as possible.”
The audit looked at 81 surgical patients during 2006-07, and found that patients who underwent colorectal surgery spent on average eight and a half days in hospital, compared to 13 days for patients in 2005-05.Š
Those who had general surgery spent four days less in hospital.