Two day case knee replacements mark double first at county hospitals

Two day case knee replacements mark double first at county hospitals image • Patient Karen Chapman with members of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust team who cared for her at the Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre.

Home » News » Two day case knee replacements mark double first at county hospitals

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has celebrated a double first with not one, but two knee replacement patients having their operation and going home on the very same day at two of the Trust’s hospitals.

Patients Chris Blackshaw and Karen Chapman were both back home within 12 hours of their procedures at the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch and Kidderminster Treatment Centre respectively – marking the first time the Trust has provided total joint replacements as day case procedures.

• Patient Karen Chapman with members of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust team who cared for her at the Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre.

The same day treatment marks a new way of providing joint replacements at the Trust for patients who are fit and well enough, providing them with enhanced support for their recovery including post-operative physiotherapy almost immediately after they come out of the operating theatre. This means that within around four hours of having their surgery they are able to walk on crutches and can be safely discharged to continue their recovery in the comfort of their own homes with ongoing support and advice available if they need it.

Dr Jo Marriott, the Trust’s Divisional Director of Specialised Clinical Services (the division which includes operating theatres), says: “To see so much hard work and planning by our teams pay off, and to see our first patients benefit from same day surgery at two of our hospitals on the same day has been fantastic. Feedback from the patients has been very positive and hopefully we will be able to increase the number of patients who benefit from day case surgery for joint replacements. It means much less disruption for them, and it will make a really important contribution to our efforts to bring waiting times down for patients from across the county.

“It also marked the return of major joint replacement to our Kidderminster Treatment Centre for the first time since the Covid pandemic and that is a major step forward to the work we are doing to have Kidderminster accredited as a national day case hub, recognising the high volume, safety and quality of same-day surgical care delivered for our patients and diverse development opportunities for our staff.”

Mr Steve Goodyear, Divisional Director for Surgery, adds: “We have a range of excellent facilities across our Trust, including the additional operating theatre complex at the Alexandra which opened just a few months ago. Our teams are actively exploring new ways of working to ensure so that our theatres, treatment rooms and outpatient departments are used effectively and efficiently. In doing this we can increase the number and quality of procedures offered, optimise patient experience, reduce waiting times, and offer exciting development opportunities for existing staff and potential employees.

“Day case surgery offers considerable health benefits for all patients who can be safely treated in that way, but it also helps the Trust to free up beds on our surgical wards for those who require a longer stay in hospital, and provide a variety of procedures, more quickly, cutting waiting times and lists for Worcestershire residents.”

Chris Blackshaw from Redditch was the first patient to undergo a partial knee replacement as a day case procedure at the Alexandra Hospital. He said: “As soon as I had come round and was feeling OK from the general anaesthetic the physiotherapist was with me, getting me to do basic exercises and checking I could support my weight and get about on crutches. 

“While I was a bit sore, I felt absolutely fine and I was delighted to be told I could go home in the evening, which is what I was hoping for. The whole procedure was very well organised, and I was sent home with medication and advice on who to contact should I need any support. The whole team involved were wonderful and I can’t sing their praises highly enough.”

Chris is now hoping to be back at work as a semi-retired domestic heating engineer within a few weeks.

Karen Chapman, who works as a midwife at the Trust, was also back home within 12 hours following her total knee replacement procedure at Kidderminster Hospital. She said: “Following surgery at 9.30am, I was back on the ward around lunchtime and the physiotherapist first visited me at 1pm. Following several visits that afternoon to get me moving, I was fit and well enough to leave in the evening and was back home by 7.45pm. 

“While I was fully prepared in advance for the procedure to be done as a day case, there was absolutely no pressure at all to go home unless I was ready. I was pleased to be able to get back to the comfort of my own home though, reassured that I could call at any time if I had any questions. I had a couple of queries and both times I spoke to the nurse who had been caring for me on the ward, which was great, and made all the difference. The whole process was so slick and efficient, and nothing was too much trouble.”

The improved service has been developed and delivered by colleagues from a number of teams across the Trust including operating theatre staff, surgeons, ward nursing teams and physiotherapists.