27 August 2019
Spire Leeds Hospital launched a campaign recently with a view to improving patients’ experience of surgery.
The ‘Think Drink’ initiative, led by staff including anaesthetists, surgeons, nurses and dietitians at the Hospital, aims to reduce the time patients are without drinks before surgery. Keeping patients hydrated makes for a quicker recovery from anaesthetic and shorter hospital stay.
Historically, in hospitals throughout the UK, patients were advised not to drink or eat from midnight the night before the operation, however recent evidence shows that remaining hydrated and drinking water up to two hours before surgery can have significant benefits.
The award-winning scheme originated a few years ago when a multidisciplinary team at Nottingham NHS Trust looked into the traditional advice about fasting before surgery and concluded it was outdated and in fact found that patients recovered more quickly if they had a drink up to two hours before surgery. Following patient feedback about their experiences within theatres coupled with audit data, the team developed new guidelines about fasting and encouraged other hospitals to adopt the new advisory reducing fasting times from up to 12 hours to just a few hours.
Spire Leeds Hospital will now ensure this becomes daily practice to ensure patients stay hydrated.
Julie Kiely, outpatient manager at Spire Leeds Hospital praised the initiative, “The ‘Think Drink’ campaign, which is being rolled out at Spire Leeds Hospital this week, has overtaken the old way of thinking and caused hospitals across the country to re-think. Changing patients’ perceptions of fasting is at the centre of this project. We have amended all our admissions information and will be talking to patients to explain the benefits and let them know they can have a small glass of tap water one hour before admission time. Staying hydrated can lessen nausea and helps for a faster recovery time from the anaesthetic which leads to better patient outcomes and an improved patient experience.”