Milton Keynes University Hospital Holds Second Successful Super Paediatric Surgery Day

Date: 06/04/2023

Last week, MKUH held its second Super Paediatric Day in theatres – running a children-only list and treating 43 of its youngest patients in one day.

The list was limited to three procedures – grommets, adenoids and oral and maxillofacial surgery. These were selected because they are known as high volume low complexity cases (HVLC) and are more simple and straightforward operations to perform.

On Super Paediatric Day, no adult cases were seen in theatres and the Day Surgery Unit was transformed into a child-friendly zone with the addition of colourful decorations, the support of our play specialists and a welcome gift bag to keep youngsters entertained while they waited for their operations.

The new service is the result of detailed and extensive planning and was delivered by a multidisciplinary team of colleagues from the children’s wards, theatres, anaesthetics, audiology, the Day Surgery Unit and the wider surgical operational units. It was the second Super Day this year – the first was held in February.

The aim of the Super Paediatric Day was to ensure that more children could have their procedures over a short space of time, and to reduce some of the backlog that has resulted from the pandemic.

Alison Hunt, ENT surgeon and surgical lead for the day explained: ‘Some children have had to wait longer than any of us would like for their surgery and organising a day where we can treat a high number of cases helps in some part to remedy that. Children suffer disproportionately from long waiting times – to be deaf for a year in the life of a child can impact them in so many different ways.

‘Seeing a higher number of children on a day like this is easier to plan, especially when the focus is limited to three different procedures.’

MKUH is a national leader for this initiative and has been recognised by NHS England and the Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) team.

Simon Kenny, National Clinical Director for Children and Young People visited the hospital to watch Super Paediatric Day in action. He said: ‘It was inspiring to see the enthusiasm and focus on children’s surgery.’

Paediatric nursing lead Helen Leigh added: ‘It is an efficient way of ensuring we can treat more of our younger patients in a shorter space of time, whilst still providing the highest quality of patient care. By treating only children, it meant we have been able to transform the Day Surgery Unit to make it more appealing to youngsters.’

And Anaesthetic Lead Jamie Strachan said: ‘Focusing on children only is known to reduce anxiety. If children see that other youngsters are also here to have a procedure it can help put them more at ease.’

Theatres project manager Talia Lewis said that 100% of parents on both Super Paediatric Days had rated their experience, as ‘good’ or ‘very good.’

‘This is a tremendous achievement and a great testament to the thorough pre-planning and exceptional team work on the day,’ she said.

The first three patients went to theatres at 8.30 and the final patient left theatres at 5pm, with all children discharged home on the same day.