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17 May 2012

Thoracic Surgery Team Win National Award

The Thoracic Surgery team at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) has won best in category for their work around Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) at the first National Enhanced Recovery Summit in London.

The award was presented by NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh, on 30 April 2012, for their work on improving the recovery time of patients undergoing lung cancer surgery at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Enhanced recovery was originally developed in Denmark and has been shown to improve patient outcomes and speed up a patient's recovery after surgery. The programme focuses on making sure that patients are active in their own recovery process. 

Clare Evans, Consultant Nurse at UH Bristol, said:

"We started the pilot of Enhanced Recovery after Surgery in August 2010 and launched this as the model of care for all thoracic surgical patients in January 2011.  Patient feedback and clinical audit has shown that patients are recovering more quickly after surgery, spending less time in hospital and getting back to normal activities sooner.

"Everyone involved in the care of the patient has a role to play in this pathway: booking teams, pre-operative assessment staff, clinical nurse specialists, surgeons, physiotherapists, dieticians, and the pain team, as well as ward and operating theatre teams. Everybody works together to ensure that the patient is in the best possible physical condition before surgery and that minimally invasive operation techniques and anaesthetic methods are considered to make the operation less stressful for the patient.

"After the operation the focus is on enabling patients to get moving and eating normally as soon as possible and vigorously treating post-operative pain."

Mr Tim Batchelor, consultant thoracic surgeon at UH Bristol, said: "We are the first thoracic surgical unit in the UK to implement Enhanced Recovery After Surgery and we are delighted that our work has been recognised in this way."

Keynote speakers at the summit included Professor Sir Mike Richards, Sir Bruce Keogh, Paul Burstow MP and members of the Enhanced Recovery Partnership (a partnership between the Department of Health, NHS Improvement and the National Cancer Action Team).

The Minister of State for Care Services, Paul Burstow, announced that "Enhanced recovery needs to be more widely available and in every hospital across the land."

Further information on Enhanced Recovery After Surgery can be found at