NEW mums are getting home quicker than ever thanks to a special programme to support early discharge at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital.
Medical teams at the Belvedere Road site have revealed that since the programme’s introduction last September, the length of stay for mothers undergoing elective caesareans has fallen from an average of three days to within 24 to 36 hours.
The success of the scheme has resulted in a host of benefits for mums who are supported by healthcare professionals to return to their normal lifestyles as quickly as possible.
Project lead Dr Rachel Vickers, consultant anaesthetist at the hospital, said: “The enhanced recovery programme has been in use across other specialities such as orthopaedics and gynaecology for several years.
“We saw that it had potential to benefit mothers undergoing elective caesareans.
“It is generally accepted that patients recover better at home and providing it is safe and there are no medical issues, there is no reason at all for mums to have a prolonged stay in hospital.
“Our midwife colleagues and physiotherapists embraced the project and have been the key to getting this to work for the benefit of patients.”
The programme starts as soon as the elective operation has been booked, with the aim of working with mums to get them ‘back to normal’ as quickly as possible and allowing them home earlier.
It considers pain relief, eating and drinking, mobility, breast-feeding and midwife support following discharge.
Gill Salmon, interim head of midwifery, said: “The focus of this project is all about improving the service for the benefit of patients.
“It’s not just about earlier discharge - the best thing about this programme for the mothers is the focus on returning to a normal lifestyle as speedily as possible.
“It is a great project and we are very pleased and proud of its development.”
Dr Vickers added: “We now have about 80 per cent of our mums going home the next day, compared with about 10 percent prior to implementation of the new scheme.”