As part of ongoing work both to improve patient outcomes and to reduce litigation costs, the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme, the British Hip Society (BHS), British Association for Surgery of the Knee (BASK) and the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA), have produced professional standards guidance for hip and knee arthroplasty documentation in association with NHS Resolution.
The cost of clinical negligence has been reported by the National Audit Office to be rising at a faster rate year-on-year than NHS funding, now representing more than 2% of the annual budget. A GIRFT and NHS Resolution Orthopaedic Working Party worked with expert contributors, including the BOA, BHS, BASK, NHS Patient Safety, NHS panel law firms, claimant law firms, expert witnesses and the medical defence organisations (MDU, MPS, MDDUS), with the goal of communicating lessons learned from previous and ongoing claims.
A strategy was agreed to promote claims learning through GIRFT data packs provided to trusts and to produce best practice guidance, starting with hip and knee arthroplasty documentation.
These documents aim to provide advice on aspects of surgery which should be available and clearly documented in a hip or knee arthroplasty operation record.
They are not a comprehensive guide to hip or knee surgery but highlight what is considered best practice and, importantly, documentation guidelines. This guidance can be found both on the BOA and GIRFT websites at www. gettingitrightfirsttime.co.uk/cross-cutting-stream/litigation/