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Thursday 21st June 2018

Nurses' advice on surgery could save millions

28th September 2010

Pilot research has suggested that nurses could help the NHS make savings of £150 million annually by aiding patients in their choices for elective surgeries.


Nursing Times reported that the research was performed by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, along with Cardiff University and NHS Direct, in order to find out how patients could be given support in order to think about other options instead of surgery.

The researchers created a 'shared decisions tool' which asked patients to give their thoughts about what they expected from surgical procedures, why they wanted the surgeries and if they had considered alternative options.

The patients were given the opportunity to talk about the questions with nurses, physiotherapists and health coaches before they spoke to a doctor.

The researchers said surgeries carried out by the health service could fall by 10% following the use of the tool.

They said if this reduction was applied to knee replacement surgeries it could save the NHS £40 million. The total amount, if similar reductions were made in the ten most common surgeries, would be £150 million in savings.

The Department of Health's National Clinical Lead for shared decision making Stephen Laitner said to Nursing Times: "Nurses are ideally placed because they’re not closely aligned to a particular outcome, like surgeons are."

"They’re particularly good at consulting individuals and making decisions that are right for them. People feel they get a very personalised, patient centred conversation with the nurse."


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