Published on: 19th July 2022
The North Central London (NCL) orthopaedic ‘Super Weekend’, held at the end of June, saw nearly 1000 patients waiting for knee, hip and other orthopaedic appointments invited to ‘one-stop shop’ clinics at five local NHS hospital trusts.
Over the weekend of 25 & 26 June, children and adults waiting for first and follow-up appointments were able to see consultants, nurses and other health professionals. During their appointment, patients received diagnostic services including scans and tests, obtained a diagnosis (where possible), were referred for physiotherapy, surgery or other treatment, or were discharged with self-help, where applicable.
The event was organised by the North Central London Elective Orthopaedic Network, which was created to provide timely, high quality care to patients for conditions relating to their bones, joints and muscles.
The network is a new and innovative way of providing planned orthopaedic surgery in NCL and is helping to reduce waiting times, minimise cancelled operations and ensure patients with the greatest clinical need are prioritised for treatment – as the NHS works hard to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One patient seen during the weekend said: “I was seen two months earlier than planned and I received the information that I needed today”. Another said: “I was seen very fast. Everyone was very polite and helpful. I appreciate staff working at weekends to address the backlog”.
Super weekend clinics took place at RNOH, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Whittington Health NHS Trust.
Chief Executive at RNOH, Prof Paul Fish, who led the planning for the NCL super weekend, said: “I’m delighted to have been able to work with a great team of dedicated NHS colleagues to help so many patients. Over the weekend we managed to reduce the NCL-wide orthopaedic waiting list by almost 10%, and we’re looking forward to running similar events again in the near future”.
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Divisional Director at UCLH and NCL Elective Orthopaedic Network Chair, Professor Fares Haddad said: “I’m immensely proud of my NHS colleagues who have worked so hard to plan and deliver this successful, innovative event. Consultants, radiographers, physiotherapists, administrators, receptionists and many, many other staff from five NHS trusts in the North Central London region collaborated together to get people waiting for orthopaedic appointments the help they need more quickly.
“Working as a single network means all orthopaedic patients can benefit from the combined clinical expertise of surgeons and other healthcare professionals from across NCL’s hospitals.
“This is a fantastic example of the many new ways the NHS is working to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce waiting lists”.
Work is now underway to fully evaluate data from the event, which organisers expect will serve as a model for further ‘super weekend’ NHS events for orthopaedics and other areas of healthcare within NCL.