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ADOPTED: SORT-IT (Salisbury Operational Research Track – Improving Together)

SORT-IT is an exciting programme of collaborative research exploring how operational research can drive improvements in peri-operative management at a time of significant challenges for the NHS. These include limited resources, increasing demand and workforce fatigue, and urgently require us to think creatively and collaboratively.


The wider SORT-IT programme is a joint endeavour led equally by Professor Christine Currie (CC: UoS) and Dr Alexandra Hogan (AH) BA(Hons), PhD, MBBS, FRCA, Consultant Anaesthetist at SHFT / Academic affiliation – UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.  It is a novel programme of collaborative research with potential for clinical implementation under the SHFT strategic aim of ‘Improving Together’. In this proposal, working with SHFT, we are seeking funding for a seed project to develop the understanding and documentation needed to apply for external funding for the wider programme (target - NIHR RfPB).


We will investigate two specific steps along the peri-operative pathway.


1. ‘Booking’ of a patient (processing of the patient’s referral for surgery and setting the course of their perioperative care).

2. Recovery (optimising patient preparation for their step-down from Theatres).


SHFT serves approximately 270,000 people, of whom 12,500 underwent elective surgical procedures in 2019/20. Similar to many Trusts post-pandemic, only 70.2% of patients met the referral-to-treatment waiting time target of 18-weeks. The NHS is challenged by rising waiting lists, a trajectory established pre-pandemic (2012-2019) that is now accelerating. Consequently, the Government’s target of 92% of patients achieving ≤ 18-weeks to starting consultant-led treatment has not been met since 2016 (NHS Key Statistics, July 2023).


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