Regional scheme wins national NHS award

 A breast cancer scheme at St George’s Hospital, London, has won an NHS Improvement award for reducing the amount of time patients spend in hospital following surgery.

The 23-hour discharge model was launched in January last year and has seen patients’ stay in hospital reduced from an average of five days to two days or less.

Introduced by the breast cancer service team in January 2011, the hospital has seen a “remarkable improvement” in length of stay figures with up to 83% of patients discharged in less than 48 hours.

Mr Dibyesh Banerjee, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, said the award is “well deserved and a testament to the hard work of the team”.

He commented: “Most of our patients now stay in hospital for just a single night, with some being safely discharged on the same day as their surgery. When we introduced the model we had initially aimed for a target of 70 per cent of discharges within two days.

“However, we have achieved a far better result by streamlining care pathways and introducing a nurse-led discharge service. This means that patients can now be discharged efficiently and safely seven days a week, improving their experience and aiding their recovery.”