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First in Bath to offer same day hip and knee replacement surgery

Hospital helps to reduce ongoing NHS waiting lists.

Sulis Hospital becomes the first in Bath to offer same-day hip and knee joint replacement surgery, without the need for an overnight stay.

In line with its mission to adapt, keep ahead of medical advancements and constantly improve its practices, Sulis Hospital has defined a medical pathway aimed at aiding overall recovery and reducing post-operative complications such as DVT.

This enhanced recovery programme (ERP) or enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) aims to help every patient recover from surgery more quickly and is based on NICE guidelines.

Historically, patients who undergo knee or hip joint replacement surgery would spend an average of three days in hospital to recover; however, a team of experts at Sulis Hospital has been able to reduce this number to just an average of one day spent in hospital with many going home on the day of surgery.

Joanna Gotley, Physiotherapy Lead at Sulis Hospital, comments: “Safety is always our number one priority and by pre-assessing patients, carefully planning follow-ups and rehabilitation, we are able to offer same day surgical procedures which are proven to allow for a much quicker recovery. Each patient is assessed individually and, for most, this procedure will be the best and quickest method to allow a quicker recovery with each patient having a bespoke and tailored discharge plan put in place.”

The new Sulis Hospital Enhanced Recovery Project (SERP), focussing on Hip and Knee Joint Replacement surgery, aims to optimise the pathway and outcomes for this group of patients by reviewing the whole journey, from pre-operative planning to early and effective discharge from hospital.

The aim of enhanced recovery programme (ERP) or enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) is for patients to return to normal life as quickly as possible and to reduce the incidence of postoperative complications.

Benefits of same-day surgery

There are a number of benefits to having Day Surgery procedures, such as the patient being at home in their own surroundings the same day, helping them get back to their daily routine more quickly. Patients who undergo same-day surgical procedures will benefit from fewer complications, faster recovery and the reduced risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It’s also less invasive and more convenient.

44 patients have so far undergone Day case Joint Replacement Surgery within a three-month period, with an average of 0.96 days spent in hospital. By recovering in their home environment, each patient is also encouraged to take ownership of their recovery, increasing independence. Alongside this, day case surgical procedures will help to reduce the backlog of patients waiting for surgery, which is currently standing at a record high of 7 million people in England alone.

Sylvia Smith, a recent patient at Sulis hospital says: “I would like to express my appreciation for the brilliant treatment I have received at Sulis Hospital. I can only describe my hip surgery as miraculous. It was amazing to be able to recover at home after leaving the hospital on the same day as my surgery. There is no doubt that the quicker you move after your operation, the faster you recover. There was no pain or swelling - you wouldn't know I had had hip surgery.

As someone who has had joint replacement surgery previously, this is a truly innovative approach to healthcare. I do believe that there's more to recovery than just physical health; recovery depends a lot on a positive mental attitude and taking ownership. Almost three months have passed since my hip surgery, and I am fully recovered.”

Joanna Gotley adds: “Having worked with Sulis Hospital for over 10 years, it’s great to see ongoing advancements in surgical procedures benefiting all of our patients. We use the best practices to reduce risk whilst ensuring the patients are physically able and medically stable. We’re incredibly proud of our joined-up approach, including our unique rehabilitation and psychological support programmes, which are a key part of the Pathway.”

Sam Heaton, Orthopaedic Consultant at Sulis Hospital comments: “Patients are the key member of the team and are very much a part of this journey, not a passenger. Modern anaesthetics for your joint replacement involves a low dose spinal anaesthetic and a powerful local anaesthetic which both combines to numb the surgical area and give much better post-op pain relief than a general anaesthetic. Combining this with early physio mobilisation is crucial in early fast recovery and reducing complications.”

James Berstock
, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Sulis Hospital comments: “Developing the same-day arthroplasty programme at Sulis has challenged us to up our game surgically, anaesthetically and in the delivery of nursing care and intensive physiotherapy. As a surgeon, it is so rewarding to see my patients walking pain-free and feeling great just a few hours after a hip or knee replacement. Restoring the joy of movement is what joint replacement surgery is all about, so the traditional practice of bed rest for most of the day of surgery now seems contrary to this goal.”*

Day case surgeries are not a suitable option for all patients and a number of factors will be considered in each case, as all patients are treated as individuals. Factors such as whether the patient has any other medical conditions that may affect their recovery, if they are considered fit and healthy and provided they have a safe support system to return to at home.

To discover more about the services available at Sulis Hospital Bath enquire now to fast track your care.

Sulis Hospital Bath, formerly known as Circle Bath prior to the Royal United Hospital acquisition, continues to offer the same high standards of care for both private and NHS patients whilst keeping the patient at the heart of all they do. The Hospital is the first fully operational private hospital in the UK where 100% of the shares are owned by an NHS Trust.

The acquisition by the RUH has increased capacity for both NHS and private patients, reducing waiting times for 4,933 patients in the last 12 months. This is particularly important as NHS waiting lists hit an all-time high [].

*CQC Care Quality Commission