The local NHS is considering changes to non-emergency inpatient orthopaedic surgery in south east London.

Full information, including a Q&A, is online at

What is orthopaedic care?

Orthopaedic care treats injuries or conditions involving the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints etc). You may be referred to an orthopaedic consultant for things like the treatment of bone fractures or a long term condition that’s developed over many years.

Patients from south east London currently have elective inpatient orthopaedic surgery (planned in advance) at seven hospital sites, which includes a small number of procedures at Darent Valley Hospital, in Kent:

  • Guy’s Hospital
  • King’s College Hospital
  • Princess Royal Hospital
  • Orpington Hospital
  • University Hospital Lewisham
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • Darent Valley Hospital (in Kent)

What could change

The local NHS is considering consolidating planned adult inpatient orthopaedic surgery onto two of sites, creating two elective orthopaedic centres, which all surgeons would use to treat their patients. This includes routine procedures like repairing or replacing hip and knee joints.

What wouldn’t change

Under this model, most orthopaedic care, such as emergency, day case and outpatient appointments, would not change. These would continue at existing hospital sites and patients would only go to an elective orthopaedic centre for surgery which requires an overnight stay (inpatient surgery). This would not affect services for children.

What could the impacts be?

This could mean some patients, and their carers, travelling further for inpatient surgery, but would offer:

  • Fewer cancellations and shorter lengths of stay in hospital
  • Better quality of care
  • Improved results for patients
  • The extra capacity to cope with demand for these services in the future
  • Safer, more affordable and sustainable services

The local NHS has taken the views of many people, including patient representatives, in forming these ideas. Clinicians have also lead the design and are supportive of the proposals.


Next steps

Nothing has been decided. Before any decision could be made a public consultation would take place, which could begin around the end of 2016.


Have your say

Read the full proposals and have your say.


There are a number of ways to share your opinions:


You can read more about the case for change, the full proposal, possible sites and potential impacts on the website,


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