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The Enhanced Recovery Programme (ERP) is an innovative multimodal approach to the perioperative care of elective colorectal resections. By lessening the stress response and expediting a return to normality it aims to shorten hospital stay (therefore lowering costs) without compromising post-operative outcomes. This is especially pertinent given the current economic climate where we must strive to use our finite resources as efficiently as possible.A retrospective observational study was conducted at Basildon University Hospital to: (1) compare patient outcomes before and after introduction of the ERP; (2) compare outcomes of laparoscopic versus openprocedures for ERP patients. Inclusion criteria were all patients undergoing elective colorectal resections between 1992 and February 2010.Sample size = 757 (153 ERP, 604 Non-ERP) patients. The introduction of the ERP has led to a reduced length of stay (ERP 6 days, 95% CI 6-7; Non-ERP 9 days, 95% CI 9-10), but no significant difference between the groups for: anastomotic leak rates (OR 1.3, 95% CI 0.35-4.9), readmission rates (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.47-1.6) or 30-day mortality (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.27-2.0).The ERP is a simple and valuable perioperative pathway that reduces length of stay without a deleterious effect on patients.