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Nurse-led service reduces waiting times for painful hand condition

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A nurse led service providing treatment for a painful hand condition caused by pressure on a nerve in the wrist has been praised for reducing patient waiting and recovery times and saving money.

The service at the University Hospitals of Leicester provides fast access treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome - a condition often associated with long hours of keyboard use - and was developed after long waiting lists and waiting times for the condition were identified.

It was developed by operating nurse specialist Malcolm Clarke who, after training under the supervision of an orthopaedic surgeon, now assesses patients with the syndrome and performs around 850 operations a year.

The treatment, which was showcased in the Royal College of Nursing’s recent Frontline First Innovation Award, has caused waiting times from referral to discharge to fall from a high of almost two years to six weeks. It has also led to 93% of patients returning to work or normal daily activities much earlier than before. The awards are given out to innovative practice on the frontline.

Research into the treatment found that alongside being cost effective for the hospital trust getting a sample of 318 patients in employment to return to work one week earlier led to savings of more than £120, 000 for the wider economy.

We’re going viral! Have you friends heard about the ‘seat on the board’ petition? Let’s ensure nurses are actively involved in the new commissioning consortia.

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