12 July 2019

A new model of care has been launched at SaTH to improve outcomes and reduce the length of stay in hospital for patients undergoing hip and knee replacements.

It follows a successful year-long pilot of an Enhanced Recovery programme at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford for those having elective surgery for joint replacements.

This new approach aims to improve the patient’s experience and recovery and halve the amount of time they spend in hospital by making them active in their own recovery, and helping to ensure that they are better prepared to manage when back at home.

The MSK (musculoskeletal) team is behind the launch of the project.

                    The team in Ward 8

It involves a multidisciplinary team – including orthopaedic consultants, specialist nurses and therapists – working together to ensure a patient is discharged from hospital following their joint replacement as quickly and as safely as possible.

The aim is to reduce a patient’s length of stay in hospital from an average of 6.3 days to 3 days.

Under the programme, the new model of care has:

  • A new orthopaedic ring-fenced bedded ward (Ward 8) at PRH dedicated to Enhanced Recovery for hip and knee replacement patients
  • A new Joint School which will educate patients and prepare them for their surgery and rehabilitation at home. They, and their ‘buddy’ (a relative, carer or friend) will also be able to meet the team involved in their treatment
  • New protocol written for anaesthetic pathways to aid recovery
  • New booklet developed to guide patients through their pathway

Mr Ralph Perkins, Consultant Arthroplasty Lead for the project, said: “The aim of Enhanced Recovery is to improve the pathway and experience for patients requiring joint replacement by giving patients better information and involving them in the process, and optimising patients pre-operatively.

“We involve the patients by providing a ‘Joint School’, which is run by physiotherapists and occupational therapists, and provide comprehensive booklets to inform patients about the procedure they are to have.

“We also have in place Senior Specialist Nurse-led consenting clinics where patients can obtain additional information and have the time to discuss their treatment with them.

“The aim is to achieve better outcomes and greater patient satisfaction along with a shorter stay in hospital. This reduces the waiting time for the patients and the cost to the NHS.”

Hazel Hughes, Trauma & Orthopaedics Operations Manager at SATH, praised the Enhanced Recovery Programme team who have worked diligently to ‘make this happen’.

She said: “The Trust has been very keen to implement an Enhanced Recovery pathway for our joint patients for some time. Now, through commitment, drive and dedication from all members of the multi-disciplinary team, this has finally been realised.”

Nigel Lee, Chief Operating Officer at SaTH, said: “The whole MSK team has worked incredibly hard over the last 12 months to ensure that the Enhanced Recovery project was successful in its pilot stage to enable it to be officially rolled out.

“This will be of great benefit to all of our patients who need hip and knee replacement surgery. Not only will it improve clinical outcomes, it will streamline and improve their experience at what can be a stressful time and enable them to get home, where they want to be, much quicker.

“This is a real success story for SaTH.”