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Grandfather praises ‘top notch’ Bones R Us week which delivers five times more hip and knee replacements than a normal week

Mark Wells-Bolger

We’ve held our third ‘Bones R us’ Week, this time completing 51 hip and knee replacements across just five days, from Monday 19 to Friday 23 July. High volume, focused efforts like these are how we’re tackling the backlog of patients waiting longer than normal for treatment due to the pandemic.

Bones R Us week patient Mark Wells-Bolger Among those getting the surgery they needed was father-of-four and grandfather-of-seven Mark Wells-Bolger, 66, a repeat Bones R Us week patient as Mark had his first knee replacement during our first one last October.

Mark, left, had his second knee replacement, his right, on Friday 23 July. He said: “Before my operations I’d been in a lot of pain with my knees which isn’t good in my job as a bus driver.

“Considering the world we’re living in the delay I experienced wasn’t too bad. When I had my first operation in October it was fantastic how they coped, and I was very impressed again. I’d been prepared to wait longer for the second one as I was so impressed with my surgeon, Asif Parkar, that I wanted him to do it again, so I was really pleased when the date came though and it was with him. The staff are brilliant, so attentive and willing to help. It was top notch.”

Mark returned home the day after his surgery and has already been visited by our COPE, community orthopaedic team, to help him with his recovery. He plans to return to work within the next few months.

Krishna Vemulapalli, our Clinical Lead for Orthopaedics, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve had another successful Bones R Us week. With 51 operations we actually exceeded our expectations, helping to get these patients out of pain.

“On an average week we do around 10-12 hip and knee replacements, so this was around five times that. It’s important to remember these high-volume weeks are challenging for our staff and couldn’t happen if colleagues from a range of our teams didn’t work so well together; including our pre-admin, admissions, radiology, and COPE teams, as well as managers, theatre and ward staff, physios and occupational therapists. The gratitude expressed by our patients and relatives makes us extremely proud.”

Our last Bones R Us week, focused on upper limb, foot and ankle surgery, was held from 21 June. These aren’t the only ways we’re working to reduce our waiting lists and get patients the care they need, high-volume clinics are happening across our departments, including; our Gynae Super Sunday clinic on 18 July which saw 160 gynaecology patients in just one day; Project Scalpel, in which we’re aiming to see 1,000 new surgery patients across six separate Saturdays; and our prEYEority week where our paediatric eye clinic saw 320 children during the last half-term break.

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