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Orthopaedic unit shows promise but many need treatment

Orthopaedic unit shows promise but many need treatment

Thursday 05 January 2023

Orthopaedic unit shows promise but many need treatment

Thursday 05 January 2023


The new specialist unit for orthopaedic surgery has performed 100 joint replacements since opening last October – but there are still hundreds of people waiting for similar operations.

The de Havilland Unit, part of the Le Marchant Ward, comprises nine beds which are ringfenced solely for these operations as when wards are shared it can increase the risk of infection and therefore time spent in hospital.

When the unit opened there were around 650 people on the waiting list for elective orthopaedic surgeries. That number has since increased to 786. 

653 of those are contract patients, while the remaining 133 are private patients.  

In May 2022 Health President Deputy Al Brouard confirmed that over 750 patients were waiting for orthopaedic surgery. 

But Dr Peter Rabey, Medical Director of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, says without the new unit “many of these 100 would have been postponed due to significant pressure for beds in the hospital during this time”.  

He said that 100 joint replacements in 12 weeks represented a “remarkable achievement”. 

The de Havilland Unit was made possible through Government Work Plan funding. A pot of £7.8m is available for Health & Social Care to reduce waiting lists for the coming years.

Pictured: Ted Bartie was the one hundredth patient to receive a joint replacement yesterday.

Zara Le Page, Deputy Sister at the Unit, said multiple staff members across department's were also offering a pre-assessment clinic so the surgery and other information can be explained in detail to provide patients a “smooth transition through the hospital”. 

This has reduced the average stay in the PEH from a week to two days for patients, and therefore more patients can be treated. 

Ms Le Page told Express that “patients’ feedback has been outstanding with much more space in the room” and that pre-operative clinics have helped to “reduce anxiety” and “build trust” with patients. 

Ms Le Page said their surgeons “work so hard, as much as they are allowed to, and we’re very lucky”.

While there are still challenges, she is “overwhelmed” by what has already been achieved on the Unit. She added that the environment was much “calmer and more controlled” than when patients were treated alongside others on the de Sausmarez Ward. 

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