King’s Mill Hospital cancer patients benefit from a new way of care

Colorectal cancer patients can now benefit from a new way of care before, during and after surgery in King’s Mill Hospital thanks to the introduction of an enhanced recovery programme.

The enhanced recovery programme is about improving patient outcomes and speeding up recovery after surgery. Patients on enhanced recovery pathways recover more quickly following surgery, and so can safely leave hospital earlier and get back to normal activities sooner.

Patients suitable for the programme are given information before they are admitted to hospital on exactly what will happen and their expected length of stay, as well as the part they are to play in their own recovery.

Patients are actively involved in the programme - they are given special drinks before and after surgery to provide energy and promote quicker recovery. They are also encouraged to eat and drink as soon as they are able after their operation.

Patients undergoing both traditional (open) and laparoscopic (keyhole) colorectal surgery would be able to go home safely three to five days after colorectal surgery. It would normally be seven to ten days.

The care doesn’t stop after discharge – patients can contact the colorectal and stoma care nurse specialists for specialist support and advice; most problems can be dealt with via the telephone in the first instance.

Mr Richard Hind, Colorectal and General Surgeon for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This programme is good news for our patients. It gives high quality, safe care during and after their surgery in order for them to recover quicker. They can get home and resume their normal activities earlier than with traditional treatment methods.

“The scope for even more patients to benefit from this programme is broad, which is why our Trust is looking at introducing this for patients having surgery in other specialties”.

Due to the success of the programme, members of the colorectal team have been invited to share best practice with Trusts throughout the East Midlands at an Enhanced Recovery Workshop event on 20 July.