Nuffield Health launch unique UK wide rehabilitation programme to “future-proof” against ill health and sedentary lifestyles following surgery

Recovery Plus Programme extended to cover 30 major surgical procedures across 74 sites.

Following successful trials, Nuffield Health are combining their hospitals, wellbeing and fitness platforms across the UK to launch a unique post-surgical recovery programme for patients undergoing major surgery.

Covering 30 major orthopaedic, spinal and gynaecological surgeries, the flagship, three month personalised rehabilitation, nutrition and fitness programme, is free to self-funding patients, and brings to life Nuffield Health’s long term strategy of integrated and holistic care.  The programme – which takes place in Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Gyms following hospital discharge - is set to benefit a wide range of patients, including helping older patients remain active and those returning from serious sporting injuries.

Nuffield Health Consultants are backing the venture, with over 500 patients referred in the opening weeks of the newly extended programme, which guides patients to a level of health and fitness they may not have had since long before their illness or injury.   Nuffield Health is working with Manchester Metropolitan University to audit patient outcome data from the programme and will present the findings at the end of 2015.

Older patients are expected to benefit significantly, as the programme aims to future-proof against ill health and sedentary lifestyles following surgery, as well as reducing readmissions to hospital.

The treatment could also play a vital role in helping prevent future hospital visits through increasing patient’s overall fitness levels and improving ‘heart health’, as well as giving protection to older patients through better mobility and protection from falls and injuries.   For many, the programme could simply help eliminate problems with excess weight and associated co-morbidities, as a result of long-term injury or illness.

Recovery Plus is the first fully integrated programme from Nuffield Health, which extends care pathways by combining the expertise in its 29 hospitals and 43 fitness and wellbeing gyms.  The not for profit provider is also working on a number of pilot projects to extend patient pathways in other specialties, notably in cancer rehabilitation and cardiac care.

Nuffield Health’s Director of Physiotherapy and Recovery Plus lead,  Liz Adair, said:

 “Many patients who come in for surgery have been living with reduced fitness and mobility and are often suffering from related illness like obesity or high blood pressure.  Once the surgery has been carried out, patients often return to the sedentary lifestyle they were leading before the surgery because they feel vulnerable, don’t have the confidence to participate in the more active situations or have just got out of the habit of being active.   While we envisage the programme to benefit older patients, having hip and knee replacements, it will also provide intensive and tailored rehabilitation for those recovering from sporting injuries, helping them return to high level of fitness faster.”

Nuffield Health’s Medical Director and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Geoff Graham, said:  

“I have no doubt that this enhanced rehabilitation programme will optimise the recovery process for patients, get them to a better level of health and fitness than before they entered the hospital, and back to activities and sports they enjoy.  Perhaps most importantly, the programme could significantly reduce hospital readmissions for repeat injuries and falls, as well as for poor general health, heart problems and obesity.”

Nuffield Health Deputy Chief Executive, KP Doyle, said:  

“Following successful trials we are delighted to be in a position to extend the programme to reach around 80 per cent of our sites.  By extending the patient journey, both pre and post surgically, we are putting into practice our strategy of completely integrated healthcare.  Over the coming months and years we will be working to implement similar post-operative programmes for other surgical specialties, including for cancer rehabilitation and cardiac care.

“At Nuffield Health we believe this is a win win situation; patients get a better deal, insurers benefit, and we reduce costs across the entire health service through improved outcomes and reduced hospital admissions.”    

The announcement of the UK launch of Recovery Plus is timely given that new figures out this week from Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing gyms are reveal a significant increase in the numbers of active over 65s, with those in their 70s now the UK’s most frequent gym users.*  

The data shows that gym visits peak at age 72** in the UK, with people visiting the gym on average eight times per month. 

Speaking about the figures, Liz Adair, said:  “Our figures show a very clear UK trend of older people becoming more and more active. Programmes like Recovery Plus will provide for the currently unmet need of the older population to keep fit, active and healthy into older age.   Due to our expertise, facilities and strategic approach to integrated healthcare, Nuffield Health is currently the only provider with the platforms to deliver these integrated and differentiated services.”

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Last updated Monday 21 March 2016

First published on Thursday 23 April 2015