A ‘VIP pathway’ for vulnerable people receiving elective surgery

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Abstract

In this article…

Nursing Times Awards

This initiative won the Learning Disabilities Nursing category in the 2017 Nursing Times Awards

Nursing Times Awards

To find out more about the NT Awards go to https://awards.nursingtimes.net

Key points

Providing personcentred care to patients with a learning disability, autism or dementia requires making reasonable adjustments

Key points

Vulnerable patients waiting for elective surgery need support to be prepared for their admission and procedure

Key points

Patients will often feel reassured if their main carer can stay with them during their admission

Key points

A pathway for vulnerable patients receiving elective surgery can reduce cancellations and rescheduling

Key points

At James Paget Hospital, the ‘VIP pathway’ ensures vulnerable patients undergoing surgery experience as little distress as possible

Adults and children with learning disabilities, or any other physical or mental health problem that makes them more vulnerable than others, may feel particularly anxious or distressed when they need to have a surgical procedure. The anaesthetic phase can be particularly stressful, and it is not unusual for operations to be cancelled at the last minute due to a patient’s anxiety. In 2012, a small team of nurses at James Paget Hospital decided to set up a pathway to provide extra support and reassurance to vulnerable patients and their carers before, during and after elective surgery - the ‘VIP pathway’ was born.

Citation

Crossley R et al (2018) A ‘VIP pathway’ for vulnerable people receiving elective surgery. Nursing Times; 114: 10, 48-49.

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