THE Countess of Chester Hospital has dramatically reduced the amount of time patients spend in hospital after surgery.
Bosses have introduced a number of new procedures aimed at helping people recover more quickly after operations.
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 separate measures and technologies before, during and after surgery to dramatically reduce 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.
The improvements mean the Countess is saving over £1,000 per patient - money which can be reinvested back into the hospital.
Dr Nicole Robin, consultant anaesthetist at the hospital, said: “We are very pleased with the results of this audit.Š
“We introduced these new systems to improve the standards of care for our patients, and these early signs are encouraging.Š
“Patients prefer to recuperate at home, and it is in everyone’s interest to make sure that 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, while urology and orthopaedic patients also had reduced lengths of stay.