Waiting lists across the country have risen due to Covid-19 and, as we continue in our recovery from the pandemic, we’re focusing on a number of initiatives to reduce the backlog of appointments.
While reassuring communities that it is safe to visit our hospitals, we’re also holding several ‘super’ clinics, to ensure our patients get the care they need.
Many of these clinics are being held during dedicated weeks or over the weekend and see different teams complete a large number of appointments and procedures over a short period of time.
One of these is our Trauma and Orthopaedics team, which has been carrying out weekend clinics since April to help reduce waiting times. During a two-day clinic on 12 and 13 June, they saw an incredible 260 outpatients in a clinic led by Shivakumar Shankar, a consultant in Trauma and Orthopaedics.
Between 21 to 25 June, the team also held a special ‘Bones R Us’ clinic, which was a focused effort across five days in which they saw 60 day case orthopaedic surgery patients waiting for surgery.
Shivakumar Shankar said: “So far, we’ve seen around 1,300 additional patients thanks to our weekend clinics. This is on top of the hard work of our teams during the week as well.
“Whilst our Bones R Us clinics reduce outpatient waiting lists, we are also completing additional elective operations as a department to address the backlog of planned operations. We have completed around 130 additional planned operations over the weekends.
Another ‘Bones R Us’ clinic is taking place next week (w/c 19 July), which will focus on hip and knee replacements. The team is aiming to complete 50 replacement operations in five days, compared to the 12 usually completed.
Shivakumar said: “This is a major team effort and we couldn’t do it without the extra effort that everyone is putting in. A big thank you to everyone involved.”
The health and wellbeing of those who visit our hospitals is paramount and we have a number of national infection, prevention, and control guidance measures in place to keep our patients, visitors and staff safe.
Surgery is no different and we have a robust green pathway in place to keep people safe when having an operation. This includes a pre-assessment, a negative Covid-19 swab test before entering the hospital, as well as twice-weekly swab tests for our staff working in green areas.
Speaking about how we are keeping patients safe, Shivakumar said: “If you need surgery but are unsure about visiting our hospitals, please be assured we have measures in place to keep you safe. My message is clear; please have your operation when offered. Although you may not think a hip or knee replacement is urgent, it is debilitating and affects your quality of life.
“As a surgeon, I have seen the green pathway in action and know it works. And I recently had an operation and went through it myself, so I have seen on both sides how well the process works.”
Find out more about our ‘super’ clinics.
Also take a look at a recent video featuring Shivakumar, which explains the safety measures we have in place for patients visiting us for planned surgery.