Enhanced Recovery

Originally pioneered in Denmark, Enhanced Recovery (ER) has been championed across the UK since 2002 by the Department of Health.

Enhanced Recovery is an evidence-based approach to delivering care in a way that promotes a better surgical journey for the patient and delivers a quicker recovery. Evidence has shown that patients on an ER pathway are involved with the planning of their operation, receive smoother rehabilitation and return to normal activities more quickly.

Enhanced Recovery is a new approach to delivering care that focuses on three stages:

  • Before surgery – pre-operative assessment, planning and preparation before admission.
  • During surgery – reducing the physical stress of the operation.
  • Post surgery – a structured approach during surgery and in the period immediately following surgery, including a pain relief.

Enhanced Recovery has also found that early mobilisation (includes walking, sitting, movement etc.) and eating and drinking soon after surgery contributes to getting fitter sooner.

The cornerstone of this new approach is based on multidisciplinary clinical leadership. It provides a framework for team building, improved processes and procedure specific care plans. By working with this new approach, MFT is supporting clinical excellence, not only across the organisation but within individual surgical teams.

There is continued support from the Department of Health and the Royal Colleges have recently incorporated ER into the medical training programmes for junior doctors.

ER is currently being rolled out across the hospital in various specialities. We are aiming to implement the initiative across all departments and we have a dedicated team that coordinate this work. This includes an Enhanced Recovery Nurse, a Project Manager and Consultant leads for each speciality. There are also other staff involved depending on the type of care that is being delivered.