Have your say on Our Healthier South East London’s proposal on elective orthopaedic centres

We are considering developing a clinical network that will ensure standards are consistently excellent across south east London and that clinicians share learning and expertise.  We are also considering a proposal with our local NHS hospitals to create two elective orthopaedic centres using existing sites. The centres would be shared facilities which all NHS hospitals would use. The two sites would be chosen so as to minimise travel times across south east London.

Local surgeons would carry out both routine and complex surgery at these two sites – but specialist care would only be undertaken by surgeons with the skills and experience. All hospitals would send their surgeons and patients to these dedicated centres and stop providing most inpatient orthopaedic surgery at their ‘home’ sites.

The elective orthopaedic centre would benefit patients with better quality and reduced risk of infection, where surgery would be less likely to be cancelled and length of stay in hospital would be shorter.

Read more about the potential impact of these proposals

Why two sites?

The work we have done suggests that two would be the optimum number of elective orthopaedic centres for south east London.

Two centres could be the most efficient given the volume of surgery we are expecting in the future. It would also enable services to be located as conveniently as possible for patients in both the inner and outer boroughs – one site would make this much more difficult.

More than two centres would reduce the potential efficiency and quality improvements (because of lower volumes of surgery at each site). Working across a larger number of sites would also make the planning of rotas and timetables for surgeons and other health professionals very difficult.

What wouldn’t change

The location for most orthopaedic care would not change. Emergency orthopaedic surgery (supporting A&E departments), day case procedures, outpatient and follow-up appointments would continue to be provided from the same sites as today.

Therefore, following referral by your GP you would initially be seen at your choice of local hospital and the consultant would oversee your care, even if your operation were to take place at an elective orthopaedic centre.

A very small number of patients with very complex medical needs, requiring specialist on-site support, may receive all of their care, including surgery, at their local hospital or the site most suitable for their needs. Complex spinal surgery would also remain at existing sites, as would children’s surgery.

The consultant surgeon from your local hospital would still carry out your procedure, but it would take place at an elective orthopaedic centre.

Your local hospital would still receive the income for carrying out your surgery, because the two elective orthopaedic centres would be shared by all of the providers.

No decision made

Nothing has been decided and we are interested in hearing your views. Public consultation will be required before any final decision is made. We are exploring ideas with patients, clinicians and other stakeholders.

Read about the potential impacts of these proposals

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