Planned orthopaedic operations will be moved to Grantham and District Hospital in a six month trial to reduce the number of cancelled operations and improve patient experience.
From Monday, August 20, planned orthopaedic operations will take place in Grantham, with each patient’s pre and post-op care maintained locally.
Trauma and emergency care will continue at Lincoln, Boston and Grantham, however a small number of trauma patients with a broken hip will be cared for at Lincoln and Boston instead of at Grantham.
The switch-up will also make Grantham Hospital an ‘orthopaedic centre of excellence’ and one of the top five performing sites in the country for the number of joint replacements.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) said it has been learning from top performing trusts in the country who “offer a better service by separating elective and emergency orthopaedic surgery.”
They said the move will allow patients to have their surgery sooner and reduce the length of hospital stays.
They added that public engagement showed “the vast majority of people said they would be happy to travel to a centre of excellence for planned operations, as long as they could still have their other pre and post-op care locally.”
If the pilot is successful the plan will be to secure a multi-million pound investment in theatres at Grantham hospital and the number of surgical patients will rise by 60%.
As inpatient care will be covered by Grantham, the plan is to almost double the day case workload at Louth to around 1,080 cases each year.
The Trust’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Brassington said: “The current model of all of the trust’s sites at Boston, Grantham, Louth and Lincoln, doing everything for all patients is struggling at times to cope with the increasing demand.
“We have been learning from the best performing NHS trusts in the country which provide more dedicated teams and facilities so increasing the quality of patient outcomes.
“The pilot will see all of the Trust’s sites working together, with each one focussing on elements of care that will help to improve the overall patient experience.
“Last year we had high cancellation rates, with 900 patients having their orthopaedic operations cancelled. The unprecedented demand over winter was a significant contributor to this, however it is not acceptable and with this trial we can stop this from happening again and provide a much better service to the people of Lincolnshire.
“By starting the trial next week, it means it will be established in time to help us with our preparations and plans for winter.”