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Orthopaedic surgery waiting times

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Tuesday 26 March 2019

Patients waiting for orthopaedic surgery have been taking advantage of Saturday surgeries, which launched a few weeks ago.

The extra surgeries complement the work undertaken during the week in theatres and provide extra capacity for on-island procedures. HSC has also used its Day Patient facilities for orthopaedic procedures that can be done outside of a main theatre.

HSC wishes to thank its staff and the MSG Surgeons, who have supported these weekend services, in addition to their busy weekday work.

This is just part of a multi-solution approach to bring back waiting times to acceptable levels. Agreements have been put in place to enable Guernsey patients to have orthopaedic surgery at selected off-island centres, which include the Peterborough Orthopaedic & Spine Specialist Hospital and Spire in Southampton. So far, over 65 islanders on the waiting list been contacted by HSC to make the offer of UK surgery and travel arrangements are being made for those that wish to take up the opportunity.

As part of the ongoing work with Jersey to collaborate on healthcare provision, HSC is hoping to utilise orthopaedic capacity for its patients on Jersey in the near future.

Funding of up to £1.5m has been secured from the Budget Reserve, with the approval of P&R, to support off-island surgery, as well as the extra on-island theatre sessions. In addition, ESS have approved funding for an extra anaesthetist which will enable additional theatre sessions to be undertaken.

The additional capacity being delivered through the various on and off island initiatives will collectively reduce the overall volume of patients waiting for their surgery, and the length of time they will wait before that can be delivered. These initiatives are complicated, involve many different stakeholders and so will take time to fully deliver and make a difference. However, both HSC and MSG are committed to reducing the length of time that orthopaedic patients have to wait for their treatment and are determined to make it happen.

Stephanie Barnes, Head of Client Team, HSC said:

"The team has been busy contacting patients and we have been delighted with the uptake, although we understand that the off-island option might not be preferable to some patients for a number of reasons. Therefore, we are also continuing to review how on-island capacity for surgery can be optimised."

Whilst the work being undertaken will reduce the backlog, the limitations of the PEH infrastructure have contributed to the increase in waiting times and it is therefore crucial that the hospital modernisation programme is actioned as soon as possible to minimise any future recurrence.

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