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Nurse scheme aids colorectal patients

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The length of hospital stay for patients undergoing colorectal surgery has been reduced by half under a nurse-led ‘enhanced recovery programme’
The programme, piloted at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, has seen the number of inpatient days reduced from five or six to just three or four since the scheme was implemented six months ago.
Patients are pre-assessed by a nurse and prepared both physically – with a course of nourishing drinks – and mentally for early discharge. After keyhole surgery, a nurse specialist sees them daily on the ward and then follows them up at home by telephone for a week.
The scheme is funded by the trust and results of an internal audit are due to be published in early 2008.
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