Programme lessens hospitalisation time

An initiative that allows surgery patients to help each other recover is being praised for cutting down on time spent in hospitals.

The Joint Care Programme, which has been slowly implemented in the past four years, encourages patients who have similar operations scheduled on the same day to work with each other in the recovery process.

West Suffolk Hospital, the first UK hospital to introduce the initiative, has seen the average number of days patients stay for rehabilitation care decrease from 12 to six.

Programme lessens hospitalisation time This has also improved efficiency in the hospital as well as cut waiting times for operations.

Peter Hicks, who had knee replacement surgery, said he stayed in the hospital for "three or four days."

"I went back a month later to meet with around 30 other people who had all had knee surgery and it was very friendly and relaxed. Everyone felt they could be very open and the consultant was inviting comments and feedback, which was good," said Hicks.

Mr Willem Schenk, one of the hospital's consultant orthopaedic surgeons, incorporated the programme at West Suffolk after seeing its success in Holland.

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