Read about our pioneering study with South Tees NHS Foundation Trust here.

South Tees Trust: Discovering digital prehabilitation

Surgery Hero
October 3, 2023

Remote surgical prehabilitation to improve patient readiness for hip and knee replacement

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides access to care for over 1.5 million patients across the North East region of the UK.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of the Trust’s face-to-face prehabilitation clinic, the perioperative care team approached Surgery Hero to deliver an 8-week remote prehabilitation to patients awaiting hip and knee replacement surgery. The programme was holistic in nature, covering all elements of physical and mental wellbeing relevant to surgical preparation.

Key features of the programme:

  • An individual health management plan based on patients’ known risk factors for surgery (age, weight, pre-existing condition)
  • Weekly 1:1 video or phone calls with their dedicated human health coach
  • On-demand chat support from their health coach
  • An app-based catalogue of surgery-specific educational resources, videos and meal plans

Unlock the rest of this article

Fill out the form below to unlock the rest of this content.

Key results
Participant demographics

Improved patient engagement drives better surgical outcomes

Health coaching is a person-centred intervention that supports patients to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to more effectively manage their own health — known as patient activation. Across the study group, participants improved their Patient Activation Measure (PAM) by an average of 10 points, but the impact was greatest felt by those in a “non-activated” group when starting.

Non-activated patients have higher levels of unplanned healthcare utilisation, engage in fewer preventative health behaviours, and account for considerably higher healthcare spend. 

In the study group, 71% of non-activated participants became activated on programme completion. The improvement in PAM was reflected in the surgical outcomes, with a median reduction in hospital of stay in the study group of 1 day. Additionally, no patients required high dependency or intensive care support post-op, and all were able to be discharged home independently. An independent health economics analysis concluded that this represented a cost-saving of £273 per patient.

Member testimonial - Joe, 75

Improved self-rated health scores

Study participants were asked to rate their health in four domains at programme entry and exit. The following improvements were noted in each domain:

We're delighted to have worked with the team at South Tees to have achieved such positive results.

Esther Carr - testimonial

If you want to learn more about what Surgery Hero can do for your ICS or Trust then please get in touch on email - - or by booking a demo here.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.