Ipswich: Recovery rate boost for bowel op patients at Ipswich Hospital

IPSWICH: Patients having bowel operations at Ipswich Hospital are today getting better faster thanks to new measures adopted by the colorectal team.

The surgical department at the Heath Road trust has reduced the average stay in hospital for patients from 11 days to five – the best length- of-stay results in the region.

To achieve this a new helpline has been introduced allowing patients to call up to a fortnight after they are discharged from hospital and more procedures are being performed via keyhole surgery to improve recovery times.

In addition patients are being encouraged to start eating and drinking sooner after surgery and they are being given carbohydrate-packed drinks before surgery to boost their energy levels.

Vicki Reid, a colorectal nurse specialist, said: “We are aiming for patients to be at their best before, during and after their operation.

“This means keeping their body as fit as possible for surgery and explaining goals such as getting up and moving about the next day, and managing pain with painkillers, from an early stage. If we get it right, it means they can go home a lot sooner.”

Ms Reid, who has worked at the hospital for 26 years, added: “Patients are more than happy so long as you explain why we are speeding up recovery and how it benefits them.

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“A patient satisfaction survey showed 97 per cent of patients felt prepared for admission and 94pc said they were prepared for discharge. Not only is it better for the patient, but it frees up beds for other patients and saves an enormous amount of money for the hospital.”

The team is now helping other departments in the hospital start their own programmes.

n Tell us your health stories. E-mail health reporter Lizzie Parry at lizzie.parry@archant.co.uk

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