Some Wye Valley NHS Trust patients are benefiting directly from a pioneering Foundation Group the Trust belongs to.

The Trust is in a Foundation Group (a network of Trusts which share best practice and innovation) with South Warwickshire NHS FT (SWFT) and the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust.

In recent years the Trusts have worked together to make improvements in processes and approaches to back-office services, but now the group is directly benefiting some WVT patients whose treatment has been delayed by the pandemic and who have been waiting more than two years.

As SWFT’s orthopaedic surgery waiting lists are among the lowest in England, some WVT patients who are happy to travel are being offered treatment in Warwick as there is capacity in the system to take on the extra work without detriment to Warwickshire patients.

“This is a great demonstration of true partnership working which is bringing real and tangible benefits to our patients,” said Glen Burley, chief executive of the three Trusts.

“A lot of work has taken place between the Foundation Group Trusts in recent years, but this has not involved direct patient care. This is the first time our unique collaboration has been used to directly offer patient care and treatment between the group’s members.”

The first procedures take place this week – they include total hip/knee replacements or revision hip replacements – with some upper limb surgery to be offered to WVT patients starting next month.

“We’re reviewing our patients who have been waiting for more than two years, but we appreciate that travelling to Warwick from Herefordshire for an operation is not for everyone so it’s down to personal choice.”

Once a patient agrees, a formal transfer of care is made to make sure their care is safe and continuous. SWFT is running dedicated clinics for WVT patients and they will be contacted by SWFT’s booking team.

After their procedure, post-operative care is set up for them and they are discharged back to their local GP in Herefordshire.

“This is great news for our patients and demonstrates the close partnership working we have been able to develop across the Foundation Group,” added Glen.