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New service launched to reduce C-section recovery period

30 April 2015

Health Care

On Thursday 30 April, the maternity and anaesthetic team at Southend University Hospital launched an innovative new service – enhanced recovery in obstetrics (ERPO).

Enhanced recovery is a modern, evidence-based approach that helps people recover more quickly after having major surgery and project leader, Mr Venkat Raman, consultant obstetrician & gynaecologist, and his team have applied this methodology to caesarean births.

The average length of hospital stay after caesarean birth in UK hospitals is between 2-3 days and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests that women who are recovering well can be discharged after just 24 hours, which is what the ERPO service aims to achieve.

Mr Raman said: "We felt that the principles of enhanced recovery can be applied to women having caesarean births and the aim is primarily to get the patient in a good state at the time of caesarean section to facilitate speedy recovery so that mum and baby spend quality time after delivery in their comfortable home surroundings improving their satisfaction."

Departments from across the hospital have been working towards this for the past year. The service introduces a multidisciplinary team consisting of: obstetricians, obstetric anaesthetists, midwives, managers and IT professionals.

Mr Raman added: "The guidelines are expected to achieve a reduction in pre-operative starving times, better management of pain relief, better prevention of nausea and vomiting following surgery; early mobilisation minimising complications such as DVT. Overall, all these would contribute to better patient experience."

The new service will be effectively monitored with a new purpose-built database which the team can learn lessons from as well as introduce changes to specific areas of the pathway. In the long run this can be shared with other hospitals in the region.

PHOTO (l-r):

  • Ric Pullen - IT development manager
  • Dr Bobby Krishnachetty, consultant anaesthetist
  • Paul Tracy - IT developer of application/database
  • Rose Marie Copper - midwife obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Mandy Porter - PA to Mr Raman
  • Mr Venkat Raman, consultant obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Dr Nicholas Coker, consultant
  • Colleen Begg - head of midwifery and clinical director