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UHNM celebrates hip replacement day case milestone at County Hospital

Patients from Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent are now able to walk home the same day as undergoing hip replacement surgery at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM).

The pioneering procedure is being offered by surgeons at County Hospital in Stafford.

This marks the first time UHNM has provided a total hip replacement as a day case procedure.

The procedure signals a new way of providing joint replacements at UHNM 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.

Within hours of having their surgery, patients can walk on crutches and can be safely discharged to continue their recovery in the comfort of their own homes with their recovery medications and ongoing support if they need it.

The improved service has been developed and delivered by colleagues from a number of teams across County Hospital including the Pre-Admission Management Service (PreAMS), Elective Orthopaedic Unit,Theatres, Anaesthetics, Pharmacy, Radiology and Therapies.

It’s also hoped the day-case surgery will help to reduce waiting times and free up bed space on surgical wards.

Mr Justin Lim, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at UHNM said: “I think this team, who have put so much into achieving these pathway improvements is amazing. It’s taken a lot of work, from a lot of people, who put a lot of hours in to get where we are, but you can see how much it means to everyone, and you can see the results in our patients.

“Patients will be getting the same standard of care, but all on the first day. By going through this pathway, they do not need to spend a night in hospital and as soon as they pass the criteria-led discharge assessments by doctors, nurses and physios, they are allowed home and can sleep in their own bed and have control of their own pain relief.”

“There is an extended benefit on the ward where the other patients are able to see these patients get up, walk and go home, and there is also a feel-good factor and a sense of achievement in everyone who has been involved in the patient’s journey.”

Stuart Rushton, a sheep farmer from Freehay near Cheadle, was the first patient to have the procedure as a day case at UHNM.

The 67-year-old said: “I went to theatre at 9am and was out an hour and a half later. At 1pm the physios made me walk a few steps and said they’d be back later in the afternoon and that I needed to walk about 20 steps. Once I could do that and pass other assessments including doing stairs, I was discharged later that same day.

“I recovered better being at home sooner. The surgery has changed my life. I hadn’t been able to get in the bath for two years, and if it wasn’t for the surgery, I would have had to have given up the farm. I am now fully independent apart from occasionally needing help putting on my socks.”


Teams involved have received recognition for their work in implementing the procedure, collecting UHNM’s Chief Executive Award.

Patient Sue Topping described her care as “outstanding” following her day case procedure.

The 56-year-old from Cheshire said: “I wanted to convey my utmost gratitude to the team of healthcare professionals who looked after me as a day case patient. I have never been in doubt of their excellence and expertise in their specialism.

“Every minor detail had been thought about, even the consideration of giving me top up pain killers for my long journey home. There are benefits to being a daycare patient. Recovery can commence at home sooner rather than later, and I thought the follow up calls from the ward were very reassuring.

“My recovery is going extremely well, and I am looking forward to having quality, pain free playtime with my very young grandsons and pain-free walking with my husband. I count myself very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be involved in this important project.”


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