Enhanced Recovery Programme, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

The journey –

Whilst ERP is a national programme, senior leaders of NHS trusts have also been instrumental in driving forward ERP. Programme objectives have been set differently in different trusts.  In the case of Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, ERP has focused on patients as well as NHS staff, in particular giving them information to help them prepare for surgery, give them the right expectations and support them throughout their hospital stay. Information packs and patient diaries have been central to this. The trust has also developed education packages for nurses and established education sessions for staff.



In Royal Berkshire hospital, length of stay has reduced from ten to six days for colorectal surgery, from five to two days for hysterectomies, from four to two days for prostatectomies and from seven to under five days for hip and knee surgery; all with no significant change in readmission rates.


Patient setting

In-patient   X Out-patient   X Community based   X
Mental health Chronic illness Cross-systems   X


Clinical area

Staying healthy Maternity and newborn Children and young people Acute care
Planned care   X Mental health Long-term conditions End of life


Information, tools and techniques used

Clinically led since its inception, the ERP programme at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust uses Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycles to drive local implementation and improvements.



This local ERP project took place in the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.



An enhanced recovery programme started for colorectal surgery in 2005/06 but lapsed two years later. Following the national launch of ERP, the hospital’s own programme was re-launched in 2010.  The programme is still ongoing.


Contact details and further information

Sarah Cherrill, Enhanced Recovery Nurse, Royal Berkshire Hospital.  sarah.cherrill@royalberkshire.nhs.uk

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