The NHS in south east London is trying to achieve improvements in these services for non-emergency patients who have their care planned in advance. This includes routine procedures such as hip and knee joint replacements and also some specialist procedures.
Patients in south east London currently have elective inpatient orthopaedic surgery (planned in advance) at seven hospital sites:
Guy’s; King’s; Princess Royal; Orpington; Lewisham; Queen Elizabeth; and includes a small number of procedures at Darent Valley Hospital, in Kent.
NHS is considering developing a clinical network that will ensure standards are consistently excellent across south east London and that clinicians share learning and expertise. They are also considering the proposal to develop two elective orthopaedic centres. These centres would be shared facilities which all the NHS hospitals in south east London would use. The two sites would be chosen to minimise travel times across south east London. Local surgeons would carry out both routine and complex surgery (excluding spinal procedures) at these centres, in a highly specialised environment supported by this core team. Specialist work would only be undertaken by surgeons with the skills and experience.
The remaining sites in south east London would stop providing this planned adult inpatient orthopaedic surgery.
All surgeons would operate on their patients at an elective orthopaedic centre where patients would benefit from better quality and reduced risk of infection, where surgery would be less likely to be cancelled and their length of stay in hospital would be shorter.
Nothing has been decided and they continue to refine these ideas with the input of clinicians, patients, and others.
Before any changes could be made there would be a full public consultation, which could take place later in 2016.
Further details on the proposals are available at: http://www.ourhealthiersel.nhs.uk/orthopaedics.htm