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Cholecystectomy (removal of the gall bladder)

Approximately 49,000 cholecystectomy procedures took place in England between April 2007 and March 2008. In 2005-06 the national average day case cholecystectomy rate was only 6.4%, with almost half of trusts having a day case rate of less than 5% and a third doing no day cases at all. In 2007-08 the day case rate has increased to approximately 17%. The highest performing organisations achieve between 40 and 50%, but aim to achieve at least 70%.

By following the pathway:

  • the length of stay is reduced / the day case rate is increased
  • patient expectations are managed and satisfaction is improved
  • there are significant financial benefits
  • surgical reputation is enhanced through sub specialisation leading to improvements in quality
  • team working and working environment is improved.

Participating trusts

Ten trusts were selected as part of this programme, one per strategic health authority. Each trust is working with the NHS Institute’s cholecystectomy team who are providing free support to implement the recommended pathway for cholecystectomy. The NHS Institute are supporting the trusts in understanding where to focus improvement activity to improve their day case rates for cholecystectomy and day surgery in general.

The participating trusts are:

Strategic health authority  NHS trust
East of England Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
East Midlands Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
London    Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
North East Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
North West Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals Trust
South Central Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust
South East Coast Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
South West Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
West Midlands Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust
Yorkshire and the Humber Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


The NHS Institute, in collaboration with each SHA, will support and facilitate the development of network events for each SHA region in England. These one day events will provide opportunities for every trust within the SHA region, to share their experiences of improving the cholecystectomy pathway.

Please keep visiting the website for information about new events.


For further information about this programme contact Sophie Cowley at sophie.cowley@institute.nhs.uk *

* Please note that the NHS Instituet is an innovation and improvement organisation and is unable to give medical advice to patients or their carers