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INTRODUCTION: ORTHOPOD: Day Case Trauma is a multicentre prospective service evaluation of day-case trauma surgery across four countries. It is an epidemiological assessment of injury burden, patient pathways, theatre capacity, time to surgery and cancellation. It is the first evaluation of day-case trauma processes and system performance at nationwide scale. METHODS: Data was prospectively recorded through a collaborative approach. Arm one captured weekly caseload burden and operating theatre capacity. Arm two detailed patient and injury demographics, and time to surgery for specific injury groups. Patients scheduled for surgery between 22/08/22 and 16/10/22 and operated on before 31/10/22, were included. For this analysis, hand and spine injuries were excluded. RESULTS: Data was obtained from 86 Data Access Groups (70 in England, 2 in Wales, 10 in Scotland and 4 in Northern Ireland). After exclusions, 709 weeks worth of data representing 23,138 operative cases were analysed. Day-case trauma patients (DCTP) accounted for 29.1% of overall trauma burden and utilised 25.7% of general trauma list capacity. They were predominantly adults aged 18 to 59 (56.7%) with upper limb Injuries (65.7%). Across the four nations, the median number of day-case trauma lists (DCTL) available per week was 0 (IQR 1). 6 of 84 (7.1%) hospitals had at least five DCTLs per week. Rates of cancellation (13.2% day-case; 11.9% inpatient) and escalation to elective operating lists (9.1% day-case; 3.4% inpatient) were higher in DCTPs. For equivalent injuries, DCTPs waited longer for surgery. Distal radius and ankle fractures had median times to surgery within national recommendations: 3 days and 6 days respectively. Outpatient route to surgery was varied. Dominant pathways (>50% patients listed at that episode) in England and Wales were uncommon but the most frequently seen was listing patients in the emergency department, 16 of 80 hospitals (20%). CONCLUSION: There is significant mismatch in DCTP management and resource availability. There is also considerable variation in DCTP route to surgery. Suitable DCTL patients are often managed as inpatients. Improving day-case trauma services reduces the burden on general trauma lists and this study demonstrates there is considerable scope for service and pathway development and improved patient experience.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1588 - 1594


Ambulatory, Cancellations, Day-case trauma, Delays, Fracture, Time to surgery, Trauma, Adult, Humans, Inpatients, Orthopedics, Prospective Studies, United Kingdom, Hospitals