New collaboration for pre-surgery well-being

Thanks to a £75,000 grant from the Health Foundation, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will be collaborating on a unique programme for patients due to have major surgery.

Working alongside Public Health (Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland) and South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group, Middlesbrough’s Live Well Centre will be running the PREPWELL programme to enable patients to undertake pre-operative fitness training in a supervised environment for six weeks prior to surgery.

The programme is believed to be the first collaborative venture of its kind, and will involve a team of doctors, physiotherapists, exercise scientists, public health specialists and Allied Healthcare Professionals working together in a bid to improve patient health and well-being prior to surgery.

Gerard Danjoux, a consultant anaesthetist at The James Cook University Hospital and project lead, said: “The aim of the PREPWELL project is to get patients fitter for surgery through supported lifestyle changes and early identification and treatment of chronic health conditions. This should lead to patients being better prepared for surgery, leading to a lower risk of complications and quicker recovery.

“A number of factors can increase patient risks with surgery including inactivity, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, malnourishment, anaemia, frailty and obstructive sleep apnoea. The present surgical pathway often allows insufficient time for these problems to be identified and treated before surgery. PREPWELL provides an opportunity for risk factors to be managed earlier in the pathway in addition to providing tailored support and self-help opportunities for patients.

“Better health before surgery is a major component of a quick and complete recovery for patients. This in turn enables patients to regain their independence and activities of daily living at an earlier stage. We are delighted to have the opportunity to run this project in South Tees, which will initially be trialled for up to 100 patients over a 12-month period.”

The programme is part of its £1.5 million innovation programme, Innovating for Improvement, run by the Health Foundation.