NHS may go private for orthopaedic ops

Submitted pic from internet
Generic surgery
operation
transplant
 (2226553)

Submitted pic from internet Generic surgery operation transplant (2226553)

First published in News

THE NHS in Gwent may not have enough capacity to carry out enough orthopaedic treatments to eliminate waiting times of longer than 36 weeks by the end of next March.

An Aneurin Bevan Health Board report on plans for tackling long waits for treatment warns that the number of orthopaedic operations needed during the next 10 months to meet this goal is “significant” and consideration may have to be given to using other sources.

That is most likely to mean buying up surgical slots at private hospitals, a solution that has been used in the past but which the NHS in Wales is keen to avoid.

In Wales, no patient should have to wait more than 36 weeks from referral by their GP to the beginning of definitive treatment, known as the referral-to-treatment time (RTT).

But the numbers of people waiting longer than 36 weeks has increased across Wales as health boards have struggled to cope with increasing demand, while trying not to overspend on ever-tighter budgets.

Orthopaedics - particularly procedures such as hip and knee replacements - is a high demand speciality and the situation in Gwent has been made more difficult recently, as three posts, two consultant and one locum, have been vacant.

By the end of March, 442 patients had waited longer than 36 weeks for orthopaedic treatment at a Gwent hospital, out of 878 across all specialities.

But the health board report warns that the position in orthopaedics “is likely to deteriorate in the short term.” The plan is to recruit three locum specialists in July, though there is risk around timing and availability.

Temporary treatment capacity has been restarted and extra operating sessions, including evenings and weekends, are being planned.

“Based on current modelling, the number of treatments to be delivered by the end of March is significant, and there may be a requirement to consider outsourcing,” states the report.

Despite this, the board expects to eliminate waits of longer than 36 weeks in orthopaedics by March 31 next year, and to maintain that situation afterwards.

Another March 2015 target for eliminating such waits is in oral surgery, where again outsourcing might be needed.

Other specialities are expected to eliminate waits of more than 36 weeks for treatment by November this year.

Plans are also being put in place to tackle long waiting times for diagnostic procedures including MRI and ultrasound scans, and endoscopies.

Comments (3)

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1:03pm Fri 6 Jun 14

gingertom says...

Even if they don't have enough orthopaedic consultants in the royal gwent they have their own orthopaedic theatre in st Woolos so they cannot make the excuse that they are fighting for theatre time. Apparently ystrad mynach hospital orthopaedic unit is not being used as it should be either. Most orthopaedic procedures now are done on day surgery or just an overnight stay, so the shortage of beds excuse cannot be used either. So how come there are big lists. For over a decade certain consultants have been making a fortune out of long NHS lists so until they stop this they will always have this problem.
Even if they don't have enough orthopaedic consultants in the royal gwent they have their own orthopaedic theatre in st Woolos so they cannot make the excuse that they are fighting for theatre time. Apparently ystrad mynach hospital orthopaedic unit is not being used as it should be either. Most orthopaedic procedures now are done on day surgery or just an overnight stay, so the shortage of beds excuse cannot be used either. So how come there are big lists. For over a decade certain consultants have been making a fortune out of long NHS lists so until they stop this they will always have this problem. gingertom
  • Score: 4

1:11pm Fri 6 Jun 14

gingertom says...

Please fill in this wales Audt office survey on NHS waiting times: http://www.nhswaitin
g.wao.gov.uki
Please fill in this wales Audt office survey on NHS waiting times: http://www.nhswaitin g.wao.gov.uki gingertom
  • Score: 3

1:43pm Fri 6 Jun 14

gingertom says...

Week in week out bbc wales onWelshNHS:
http://www.bbc.co.uk
/programmes/b045lw2v
Week in week out bbc wales onWelshNHS: http://www.bbc.co.uk /programmes/b045lw2v gingertom
  • Score: 0

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