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Your spotlight on local services

Orthopaedics Project

About the Project

The purpose of the report was to gather views from people using the elective orthopaedic surgery service at Trafford General. Salford Royal Foundation Trust had previously delivered this service on their Salford Royal site. The service has been moved to Trafford General as part of the Manchester Elective Orthopaedics Centre (MEOC).

The information for the report was gathered by Healthwatch Salford staff and volunteers from 15 day patients and in patients having elective orthopaedic surgery at Trafford General Hospital. Additional comments were gathered through online and social media requests for experiences through the Healthwatch Salford membership.

The information was gathered using a qualitative approach. This means we collected information by gathering stories, with trained volunteers supporting patients to share their experiences. Volunteers were all members of the Salford community and had been trained to gather information in a supportive way by Healthwatch Salford staff. The information was gathered during a one-day visit to the Manchester Elective Orthopaedic Centre. A Healthwatch Salford member of staff supported volunteers on the day.

What did we find?

The patients we spoke to who were visiting Salford Royal Hospital before having surgery at the MEOC told us it was very good, with 12 comments being overall positive and 5 of them specifically relating to the excellent support of the staff teams. 13 of the 15 participants were happy they had received clear understandable information about the treatment they were having and 11 of those taking part said they had received clear information of how to access their treatment at the MEOC.

When visiting for their treatment and returning home after treatment, the patients we spoke with were arriving by private hire taxi, private ambulance or in a car with a family member. It was raised that that taxi costs were a struggle for people who did not have family support. The overall experience of participants during their time as day patients and inpatients at the MEOC was positive, with 5 of the participants saying no improvements are required.

What did we recommend?

We said that there should be a process for checking that all patients receive and understand clear information relating to their treatment and aftercare.

We said that patients should be supported to consider the best options and routes for travelling to their appointments. This would be most useful at the pre-op stage so that anxieties relating to travel are reduced before the time of the appointment. Discussions regarding visitor travelling time might also be useful at this point to ensure that people are able to plan effectively.

We said that patients should be clearly made aware that the hospital opening time of 7am is not the appointment time allocated to them. Hopefully, this may assist in managing expectations of waiting times. Patients with additional support needs should have opportunity to discuss this prior to their appointment so that reasonable support can be arranged.

We said that clinicians and teams should work together and share best practice. Hopefully this would support the patient's experience of one seamless team, rather than feeling that there are separations in views from the clinical teams.

What will happen next?

This report was part of a wider check on the service by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). It was presented to two very senior meetings at the CCG and Healthwatch were told that the report was very useful in helping them to decide if this service was being delivered in the best place and to check that it is running in the best way for patients. The CCG are going to check that the recommendations we suggested are put in place by Salford Royal. We will be revisiting the service in the future to check that it is running in the best possible way.