Spinal Surgery

The GIRFT national report on spinal surgery was published in January 2019.

Click here to read the report online

Click here to read our announcement

Click here to watch a short video about the report (click to view full screen)

You can contact the project manager for this workstream at [email protected]

Clinical lead: Mike Hutton

Consultant spine surgeon at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital

Mike is a consultant spine surgeon and spinal clinical lead at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, where he has a wide practice in spine surgery, undertaking complex spinal procedures in all areas, including paediatric and adult spine deformity. He is currently an elected member of the executive of the British Association of Spine Surgeons as the audit and British Spine Registry lead, and spinal lead for the Department of Health Clinically Led Quality and Efficiency Programme.

After receiving his medical degree, Mike spent his specialist training on the East Anglian orthopaedic rotation before undertaking a combined neurosurgical/orthopaedic spinal fellowship at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Stanmore, Ipswich Hospital, and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Five minutes with… Mike Hutton

Q: How did you first become interested in spinal surgery? I was formerly a professional rugby player and had planned to go into sports medicine/surgery, so much so that I undertook a sports surgery fellowship in New Zealand during the British Lions tour of 2005. During my training programme as an orthopaedic registrar I worked with some inspiring spine surgeons at Ipswich Hospital and in Cambridge, who taught me how to assess and make sense of patients with spinal problems, and that with the right indication patients could have a good outcome from spine surgery. They flattered me by saying they thought I would make a good spine surgeon, which made me change my career path.

Q: What excites you most about your specialty? Helping people with an emergency but reversible catastrophic change in their function. For example, operating on someone who is paralysed by spinal infection.

Q: What has been the highlight of your career to date? On a sporting front, playing for the Barbarians. On a career front, publishing my GIRFT national report on spinal services after 127 visits – a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into it.

Q: Who or what inspires you? Anyone who faces adversity in their life and fights through it to their benefit.

Q: How do you relax? Watching the rugby or watching a good movie. And thinking about the next challenge I’m going to take on.