Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) | National Specialty Reports

Client: NHS Improvement

Sector: Healthcare

Timeframe: February 2018 – May 2018

The Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) program was initially developed to address a range of observed and undesirable variations in Orthopaedic Surgery. The underlying intent behind the program is that a patient should expect to receive equally timely and effective investigations, treatment and outcomes wherever care is delivered, irrespective of who delivers that care, and that this is achieved as efficiently as possible. GIRFT seeks to realise this without the need for radical change or additional investment, but to concentrate on making the best use of currently available staff, skills, tools, techniques and facilities to achieve significant and sustainable benefits.


The principles underpinning GIRFT are that it is clinically led, developing a consensus based on sound evidence, using comprehensive and reliable data to understand issues, prioritise areas for action, and to drive and monitor change.


Methods Analytics was engaged to support the initial expansion of the GIRFT program from Orthopaedic Surgery across 11 further clinical specialties. The task was to work with the program and individual national specialty clinical leads to develop data packs, covering every provider in England. This required close engagement with the clinical leads to understand the focus area, the issues within the specialty and its service models, and the data available and accessible. This would enable the analysis needed to undertake the data pack development and to produce usable and meaningful intelligence for the clinical lead.

Once the series of hospital ‘deep dives’ is complete the clinical lead draws together the learning to draft a summary report identifying areas for improvement in their specialty. Methods Analytics work with them providing insight and evidence to support the case for change.

Methods analytics are one of our key partners, providing analytics and insight to the GIRFT programme, supporting production of many specialty data packs and national reports.

This includes supporting the understanding of variation in clinical practice and identifying opportunities for improvement and providing the evidence to support recommendations. Methods Analytics combination of analytical and clinical knowledge means they are able to translate data into meaningful insight.

– Rachel Yates, Managing Director and deputy SRO


To date Methods Analytics has worked with five specialties clinical lead and has been re-procured to continue to support the program now it has received funding to roll out across more than 30 NHS services.

Alongside the data packs Methods Analytics is delivering national specialty reports, working with the GIRFT team and national clinical leads developing narrative reports on findings from dozens of hospital visits, interrogating the data to demonstrate the anecdotal findings and drivers of variation in outcomes and efficiency.

A standard report template has been developed with 5 drivers of variation:

  • Demand
  • Activity
  • Decision
  • Outcome
  • Productivity & Cost

Alongside this Methods work with the national clinical lead to develop potential service changes, based on the findings. These may be clinical practice changes through education and evidence, service model changes, or organisation and service structure changes.

Methods Analytics value-add

  • Understanding of clinical practise
  • Engage credibly with senior clinical leaders
  • Using the right data in the right way to drive quality, outcomes and efficiency

Developing a national report requires an understanding of clinical practice, the ability to engage credibly and knowledgeably with a very senior clinical leader, to understand what data, both quantitative and qualitative may be available and what can be done with it to inform understanding of the specialty in terms of quality, outcomes and efficiency. Methods Analytics has identified, accessed and utilised HES, SUS, reference cost, tariff, population sociodemographic, national clinical audits (NJR, NELA, NOGCA, BAUS, DAHNO, NBCAP among others), Staff, GMC trainees and patient surveys, NRLS, complaints, NHS Digital Data Quality, NHS Litigation Authority and CQC data items. This is not an exhaustive list and there will be many more as we roll out across the further clinical specialties and areas of practice. We have also been required to create new data where the need has been identified, such as carry out a survey of hospitals to gather comparable surgical equipment procurement costs.

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