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A new NHS service at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham could get you home just 24-48 hours after a hip or knee replacement.

The service known as JointCare is the first of its type in the UK and launched at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in November 2018.

Based on the latest evidence and care from around the world, the JointCare programme is setting new standards for NHS hip and knee replacement surgery in England. The JointCare programme is built on a ‘wellness model’ which means that NHS patients are treated in an environment which encourages them to move and improve, focussing on what they can do rather than what they can’t.

During their first appointment, patients are given a handbook which helps them prepare for each stage of their procedure. The emphasis is on independence and returning to a better quality of life as soon as possible. The evidence suggests that exercising soon after surgery aids recovery and supports people to get back to life more quickly. 

Mr Andrew Pearson, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, helped to introduce the JointCare programme and believes it has the potential to help patients in Birmingham and Solihull;

“We saw an opportunity to take all of the good things we already do at the Royal Orthopaedic and make them even better. Patients can expect high quality clinical care in a dynamic environment focussed on movement and recovery.
The JointCare hip and knee replacement pathway is an excellent choice for patients who want to reduce pain and restore independence.”

Since launching in November the JointCare programme is already seeing positive results.

Find out more about JointCare

Waiting lists in for joint replacement

While waiting times for hip and knee replacements across the country are increasing, The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital is one of the few Trusts consistently reducing waiting list times. The Trust does not have an A&E department so does not face the same kind of pressure during winter that other hospitals face.

In fact, the ROH has started to treat patients from other hospitals in an agreement which supports the health system in Birmingham. Around 40 - 50 extra patients per month will be treated at The Royal Orthopaedic to ensure they don’t wait for joint replacement surgery.

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital is one of the largest specialist orthopaedic units in Europe and rank among the best in the NHS for patient experience with a 96% recommendation rating from patients.

Do you need a hip or knee replacement?

Are you making more decisions based on the pain in your hip or knee than anything else? If so, it might be time to consider joint replacement.

Hip or knee replacement surgery is usually necessary when your hip or knee joint is worn or damaged to the extent that your mobility is reduced and you experience pain even while resting. A hip or knee replacement is major surgery, so we normally only recommended one if other treatments, such as physiotherapy or steroid injections haven’t helped.

Some common symptoms to look out for include:

  • severe pain, swelling and stiffness in your hip joint and your mobility is reduced
  • hip or knee pain which is so severe that it interferes with your quality of life and sleep
  • everyday tasks, such as shopping or getting out of the bath, are difficult or impossible
  • you feel depressed because of the pain and lack of mobility
  • you can't work or have a normal social life

It’s also very important that you are well enough to cope with both a major operation and the rehabilitation afterwards.

If you’re experiencing symptoms like this, we encourage you to talk to your GP and ask about hip or knee replacement. If an operation is necessary, you can choose where you would like to receive treatment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and look for information about specialists close to where you live.

Find out more about JointCare at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital