Dave Duffy Discussing HaPPI Initiative

A new initiative led by YKC’s Dave Duffy could be set to make a big difference to patient care while saving the NHS valuable time and money. Here, Dave explains the thinking behind the HaPPI project.

If you’ve ever been into hospital for an outpatient procedure, you’ll be familiar with the way things work. You have the procedure. You spend a little time in recovery. Then, possibly still under the effect of a sedative and certainly a little discombobulated after surgery, a consultant like me drops by to tell you how everything went, give you tips for your recovery and tell you what happens next.

Unsurprisingly, research suggests very few patients remember what they’ve been told. That means they can’t tell friends or family who may be caring for them. Inevitably, this leads to a further outpatient appointment a couple of weeks later when they are given exactly the same information.

It’s not hard to see the problems with that way of working. If you were designing a healthcare system for the 21st century from scratch, you’d certainly never design it like that.

And that was the genesis of HaPPI.


HaPPI patients

HaPPI (Harrogate Post-Procedure Initiative) is a digital solution to the above problem. After your operation, the surgeon records a short, personal message explaining all the things you would previously have been required to remember.

Patients receive the message on the evening after surgery, giving them a permanent record of what was said. If there’s anything they miss or want to recap, they can simply play it again. Better still, they can share the video clip with friends, family and carers so everyone receives the same information.

In addition, we can add other FAQ-type video clips to support the main, personalised piece. If I carry out a knee arthroscopy, for example, I might supplement the main video with a number of pre-prepared clips answering commonly asked questions, such as ‘can I get the wound wet?’ ‘When can I drive?’ ‘When can I go back to work?’.


Improving patient experiences. Saving time and money

We initially trialled HaPPI with 80 of our NHS knee surgery patients. It was so successful that the trial was quickly expanded to include many more patients and day-surgery treatments.

Each personalised patient video takes me around five minutes to create, but this is more than offset by the reduction in appointments to revisit information. In fact, the number of people who felt they needed a follow up after simple keyhole surgery dropped to less than 20% compared with 80% previously.

The videos are more easily accessible and understandable by a wider range of patients who may not find it easy to read a follow-up surgeon’s letter intended for a GP. And if a patient doesn’t have the digital capability to get benefit from the video, we can still follow up in the usual manner.

As you’ll see in the video on this page, Max, a patient at the Harrogate District NHS Foundation Trust found the system valuable. He said, “It’s been very helpful — having your surgeon go through the photographs taken during surgery has definitely helped my understanding and reassured me going forward.”

It’s not just a patient’s surgical experience that benefits from HaPPI. Surgeons save valuable time. The NHS saves money and frees resource. Patients and family avoid another visit to hospital, the time that takes and the parking charges they incur. And if we were to roll HaPPI out regionally or even nationally, just imagine the number of car journeys that could be taken off the road or the number of letters that wouldn’t need to be sent.


Awards shortlist

This is why HaPPI has been shortlisted for a number of awards at this year’s HSJ Digital Awards, one of the biggest and most prestigious health awards in the UK.

The shortlisting — for Digital Innovator of the Year, Supporting Elective Recovery through Digital, and Optimising Clinical Pathways through Digital — really is testament to the team at Harrogate and I’m delighted their hard work has been recognised.

More importantly, I’m delighted HaPPI is making a difference to patients, the NHS and the environment.

Watch more about HaPPI here.

Dave Duffy

Dave Duffy

Private appointments weekly at The Duchy Hospital Harrogate & Nuffield Hospital Leeds

Private Secretaries

Amanda Hardy
The Duchy Hospital Harrogate
07889 485 579

Lauren Long
Nuffield Leeds
07930 585 744


Email Dave


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