Need a new hip or knee? Book now to be mobile by Christmas

NHS patients referred to Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre for joint replacement surgery now, could enjoy a pain free Christmas 
Shorter waiting times mean surgery late summer/early autumn
“There is no reason for any NHS patient in the region who needs a new hip or knee to be in pain for longer than is necessary” – Hospital Director
5 signs you may need a new knee
10 signs you may need a new hip
Switching to a shorter waiting list – what you need to know
 
It used to be that “all I want for Christmas are my two front teeth”, but NHS patients across Somerset and beyond who are told by their GPs over the next few weeks that they need a new hip or knee could have the operation and be up and about by Christmas – if they ask to be referred for surgery to Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre.
 
The hospital is currently seeing joint replacement surgery patients for pre-operation assessments within a fortnight of receiving their referral from the musculo-skeletal practitioners at the interface service, having been referred to see them by their GP. The health care practitioners at the interface service will assess their suitability for surgery in line with the Commissioners’ guidelines.
 
Once patients have been accepted for treatment, these patients could have their operation in late summer/early autumn. With the enhanced recovery programmes provided by Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, patients referred in the next six weeks could be well on the road to full mobility and a pain free Christmas – the perfect gift if they have been in pain for some time.
 
Chester Barnes, Hospital Director at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, commented: “Our waiting times for joint replacement surgery are currently short which means that if anyone has been waiting for this type of surgery for a while, or if they simply want to be treated sooner, they can exercise their right to choose where they receive their NHS treatment and come to us. If they have been seen by their GP and their GP agrees they need surgery, patients can ask their GPs or interface service practitioner to refer them to us. The same goes for people who have been on a waiting list for a while – they can contact their local Referral Management Centre and request a swap.”
 
He added: “There is no reason for any NHS patient in the region who needs a new knee or hip to be in pain for longer than is necessary – we have the capacity to provide surgery without the wait.”
 
Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre was the first hospital of its kind to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating across all five criteria against which the Care Quality Commission inspect. More information and a full list of procedures available are available at www.sheptonmallettreatmentcentre.nhs.uk
 
10 signs you may need a hip replacement
 
More than 50,500 hip replacements took place across England and Wales last year. It is a major, yet effective and common operation and over time becomes the only way to eradicate pain and improve quality of life.
 
How do you know when you may need a hip replacement? Here are 10 signs to look out for and to discuss with your GP:
 
Persistent or recurring pain in your hip over a period of time especially following activity 
Aching in your hip during and after exercise, with progressively limited hip motion or degree of bend in the joint
Increasing immobility such as difficulty getting in and out of chairs, walking or climbing stairs
A ‘grating’ feeling in the hip joint
Stiffness in the hip joint when you get out of bed
Continual pain even with medication and using a cane, and pain that keeps you awake at night
Stiffening up of the joint after sitting for a period of time, such as driving or at the cinema
Increasing pain, discomfort and immobility from a previous hip injury (such as a fractured pelvis)
Related pain elsewhere, such as in the knees or groin
An inability to stand on one leg
 
5 signs you may need knee replacement surgery
 
More than 70,000 knee replacements took place across England and Wales last year. It is a major, yet effective and common operation and over time becomes the only way to eradicate pain and improve quality of life.
 
How do you know when you may need a knee replacement? Here are 5 signs to look out for and to discuss with your GP:
 
24-hour severe pain in the knee and the surrounding area, or elsewhere such as the hip or ankle, which impacts on your daily life even when you are resting
Swelling and inflammation of the knee which no longer responds to medication
Stiffness in the knee and immobility
‘Bowing’ of the leg
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs no longer provide relief from pain
 
Switching to a shorter waiting list – what you need to know
 
If you have been told that you must wait for longer than 18 weeks, you have the right to ask to be moved to a shorter waiting list at another hospital. How this works varies from place to place: it could be via a local referral management centre if there is one, a GP or a local clinical commissioning group (CCG). The advice from Shepton Mallet Treatment Centre would be for patients to contact the hospital to which they wish to be referred to ask for guidance.