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Hospital’s January “Joints” Week A Success

Thursday 24 January 2008

Hospital’s January “Joints” Week A Success for Southland Patients

Southland Hospital made the most of a quieter January week to provide extra surgery for 21 Southland patients through a “January Joints Week” initiative – an eight day blitz focused on hip and knee surgery.

Interim Chief Operating Officer, Leanne Samuel, said that the joints week was a hospital-wide initiative which saw many staff go the extra mile to enable the week to take place and to bring relief for 21 patients who had been waiting for their hip or knee operation.

“A number of staff cancelled their annual leave plans or worked extra hours to ensure that the week could take place and to support their patients and colleagues.

“Significant planning was required in order to book patients, operate, care for and rehabilitate the extra 21 patients, on top of day-to-day activity,” she said.

Mrs Samuel said that there was always a chance that the week might have had to be cancelled at the last minute should a major accident have occurred, but that staff wanted to make the most of a usually quieter period and the week went ahead on time and as planned.

“The ‘January Joints Week’ was a great example of teamwork and planning across hospital services and we are all pleased to have been able to give 21 patients such a positive start to their year with their knee or hip surgery now completed,” Mrs Samuel said.

A “Summer Saturday Surgery” initiative has also been running since December, enabling two extra patients a week to have their elective hip or knee surgery performed.

January Joints Week – Interest Points:
* With Southern Cross Hospital being closed during the week, Southland Hospital was able to use their orthopaedic surgery instruments and equipment, meaning more joint procedures could be performed during each day.

* Theatre staff performed 4 joint procedures a day for most of the week, with each operation taking between one-two hours, coupled with pre- and post- operative care.

* During the week, Sterile Services processed up to 70 crates a day of orthopaedic equipment through the sterilisers, compared to the usual 10-15 crates of orthopaedic equipment on a normal day

* The 42-bed surgical ward was full the entire week as the extra hip and knee operation patients were cared for along side other surgical patients

* Each patient a 1 hour physiotherapy session the first day after surgery, followed by twice-daily 20-minute sessions for three days – the physiotherapy team workload therefore accumulated quickly during the week as more and more patients arrived on the ward.


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