General paediatric surgery

What is the programme and its aims?
General paediatric surgery is non-specialised children’s surgery that can be performed by specialist paediatric surgeons or by surgeons who primarily operate on adults, but who have expertise in paediatric surgery. In the East Midlands, general paediatric surgery is delivered by all acute providers. Complex cases are taken to Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust or University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

The General Paediatric Surgery Network, previously led by Mr Daniel Colliver, aims to reduce unwarranted variation in outcomes and patient experiences of general paediatric surgery for children across the East Midlands, by supporting providers and commissioners to work together towards the standards of the commissioning framework and maintaining local provision of general paediatric surgery.

Why is the programme required?
There were two key drivers for this work: the first was the sustainability of General Paediatric Surgery given the decreasing number of surgeons with appropriate training in the region, and the second was to identify gaps in and provide support for the maintenance of core competencies for consultant surgical, anaesthetic and nursing teams.

Who are the partners?

  • Provider trust clinicians
  • Clinical commissioning group commissioners
  • Health Education East Midlands

How did we make a difference?
We have developed three commissioning guidance documents in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons, for specific paediatric surgery procedures: emergency appendicectomy and orchidopexy for undescended testis and management of paediatric torsion. These documents have been widely circulated both locally and nationally for use by local commissioners and by local service providers and members of the care pathway.

We facilitated the paediatric surgery network to conduct multi-professional service reviews of all local general paediatric surgical services. The reviews were based on the East Midlands Commissioning Framework Standards for general paediatric surgery (2012) and responses to self-assessments against these standards. The visits focused on the emergency pathway for general paediatric surgery, and provided local assurance, improved communications between the units, and identification of areas of good practice which were disseminated to improve children’s experience of care. The reviews also identified common themes for action and network review.

What’s next?
The Clincial Network supported a final East Midlands General Paediatric Surgery training event in March 2017 before the programme closed at the end of March.

Useful links

Who to contact for further information?
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Maternity and Children's Quality Improvement Coordinator