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The time spent in hospital by patients undergoing joint replacements in the Western Isles has been reduced - and everyone's happier. 

NHS Western Isles has introduced a nurse-led Arthroplasty Pre-admission Clinic to ensure that as many Orthopaedic patients as possible attending for arthroplasty surgery are admitted to hospital on the day of surgery. 

Arthroplasty refers to the surgical reconstruction or replacement of a joint.

Prior to the introduction of the clinic, all patients were admitted to Ospadal nan Eilean in Stornoway the day before surgery. 

Best practice for elective joint replacement is for patients to be admitted on the day of surgery, and there are significant benefits to this for the patient, including enhanced patient recovery, reduced length of stay and infection risks, improved patient journey and reduction in late cancellations.  

The new clinic was introduced in August 2021 and the latest data demonstrates that 89 per cent of Arthroplasty patients are now admitted on the day of surgery to Western Isles Hospital.  

NHS Western Isles Lead Nurse Acute Services, Frances Robertson, said: “It became evident that the introduction of the pre-admission clinic ensured that patients were fully prepared for surgery, had the opportunity to ask questions and engage pre-operatively with the surgeon, anaesthetist and their rehabilitation team and that care plans could be tailored to every individual’s needs. We are delighted with how successful it has been, and hope to further increase the number of patients admitted on the day of surgery.” 

Patient feedback has also been extremely positive, with individuals stating that they have been ‘very happy’ with the service, that ‘the whole experience was excellent’ and that they were ‘very impressed by the professionalism and care by all’. 

Other feedback received included: 

  • “I slept better at home and felt more relaxed on the morning of my op. Thank you.” 
  • “The whole experience was excellent. I was even able to meet the anaesthetist to discuss an issue. Was very grateful to be given this opportunity.” 
  • “Staff were extremely pleasant and provided very clear information and instruction.” 
  • “They treated me like a complete human being, not a problem to be fixed. Thank you for this innovation.”