Understanding the unwarranted variation in spinal surgery

Working with the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme, Edge Health led the analytical work that helped understand the nature and scale of variation in the provision of spinal surgery. These findings, which are discussed in detail in the national report, were endorsed by the United Kingdom Spine Societies Board; British Association of Spine Surgeons; Society of British Neurological Surgeons; British Orthopaedic Association; and the National Backpain Pathway – Clinical Network.

The analysis is now being turned into bespoke reports for each of the 127 spinal units in England. These provider level reports, that Edge is producing, will form the evidence base for clinical discussions between the GIRFT spinal lead, Mike Hutton, and front-line clinicians across the country. As well as improving the quality of spinal care for people, the work will help NHS providers of spinal services to reduce cost through a reduction in unnecessary procedures, such as facet joint injections, and implement high quality pathways for their patients.

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