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Enhanced recovery programme celebrate 1,000th patient

Mary Gallacher, 91, based in Rhyl, recently became the 1,000th patient to be discharged on the same day as her operation through the enhanced recovery programme at Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital.

Post-surgery, Mary was mobilised to assist with pain management and to prevent any risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a chest infection. She was able to return home on the day of her operation – known as day zero – due to her pre- and post-operative resilience.

Since April 2023, The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital introduced enhanced recovery for all arthroplasty patients – aiming to get patients back to full health as quickly as possible following surgery.

Research around enhanced recovery has shown that the earlier a person gets out of bed and starts walking, eating, and drinking after an operation, the shorter their recovery time will be.

Mary said: “I am thankful to my Orthopaedic Consultant Mr Edmond U for my surgery and also my family for their support with my recovery.”

Mr U said: “Mary was an incredible patient both pre and post operation. Her resilience and strength at 91 years of age were applaudable.

“The enhanced recovery programme made it possible that Mary was able to return home on the same day as her operation and enjoy Christmas with her family.”

Enhanced recovery is an evidence-based approach that helps people to recover more quickly after having surgery. It aims to ensure that patients are as healthy as possible prior to treatment and receive the best possible care during their operation and while recovering.

This programme is now standard practice in many hospitals for a range of surgical procedures. The programme is led by two orthopaedic surgeons at the Oswestry-based hospital Mr Niall Graham and Mr Geraint Thomas; and Enhanced Recovery Lead, Rebecca Warren.

Mr Graham said: “Our enhanced recovery program is a great example of team working to ensure patient safety, improved outcomes whilst maximising resource utilisation in our local health economy.

“Few other units nationally or internationally are exposing so many patients to the multiple benefits of a universal, non-selective enhanced recovery program.”

After surgery, patients have access to the dedicated team to discuss any issue or questions – who are available seven days a week and provide a wraparound service when patients are discharged. As part of the programme patients are invited to attend joint school prior to surgery, which gives them an oversight of what to expect post-operatively and on discharge.

Mr Graham added: “As a result of a multi-disciplinary approach to the management of all our primary hips and knees the Trusts’ length of stay numbers have fallen over the past nine months and will continue to do so as the enhanced recovery program is further refined.”


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