The new pre-operative care centre (POCC) at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is enhancing the quality of care for patients coming to hospital for a procedure.

The POCC, which opened in July 2012, ensures that patients due to undergo surgery at the hospital are checked to make sure they are in good health before their operation, which reduces the risk of cancelled surgery. Staff also ensure that appropriate arrangements have been made for the patient for their admission to hospital, discharge and for care at home after surgery.

Following the Tooting Walk-in Centre service’s move into the redeveloped A&E, the vacated space was transformed into the POCC, and now provides a new specialist environment for a service that was previously delivered from a range of locations across St George’s Hospital.

Claire Painter, head of surgical nursing, says that the POCC will improve the planned admission process for both staff and patients. She said: “Pre-operative care is an essential part of the planned care pathway, enhancing the quality of care in a number of ways. For example, if a patient is fully informed, they will be less stressed and recover from their operation more quickly, whilst a health check ensures good medical health before anaesthesia and surgery.”

Sue Hutchinson, consultant anaesthetist, adds that bringing staff together will help improve patient safety and help staff learn new skills. She said: “We have worked hard to make sure that the new care pathways within the POCC improve communication between all staff groups at the trust, with a fully joined up approach across acute and community care, improving discharge planning and follow-up care at home.

“Being based in one location will mean that over time staff can gain experience of different specialities and procedures, creating a more experienced and flexible workforce which will reduce cancellations and improve patient outcomes. Reducing cancellations will mean that the trust will have more available theatre capacity to treat more patients.”

Notes to editors

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About St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest healthcare providers in the country. Its main site, St George’s Hospital in Tooting – one of the country’s principal teaching hospitals – is shared with St George’s, University of London, which trains medical students and carries out advanced medical research. As well as acute hospital services, the trust provides a wide variety of specialist and community hospital based care and a full range of community services to children, adults, older people and people with learning disabilities. These services are provided from Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, 11 health centres and clinics, schools and nurseries, patients’ homes and Wandsworth Prison.
  • St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is one of London’s four major trauma centres. In 2011/12 the emergency department at St George’s Hospital treated an average 447 patients each day, with 95.06 per cent of patients being admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.
  • St George’s Hospital is one of eight hyper acute stroke units in London. The trust’s stroke services were rated as the best in the country by the National Sentinel Audit 2010, and in the top four in 2011.
  • St George’s Hospital has one of the biggest and busiest of the eight heart attack centres in London. The heart attack centre at St George’s Hospital was rated as having the best response rate for treating heart attack patients in London in the 2012 Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP).
  • The trust is an accredited centre of excellence for trauma, neurology, cardiology and cancer services, and the national centre for family HIV care and bone marrow transplantation for non-cancer diseases.