Changing health – what’s your story?

Huge improvements in the way the NHS treats and cares for patients is just one of the reasons our local hospital services are being reviewed.

We know it’s important to be efficient and use resources wisely. We also know that if we increase specialisation, make use of the latest techniques and technology and move more treatments closer to home, then we’ll continue to see the same dramatic improvements that we’ve seen over the last ten to 15 years.

Not so long ago if you needed a hip replacement, you’d be looking at a ten day stay in hospital …. that’s now down to three or four. This isn’t because hospitals are shoving people out of the door too soon, it’s because surgical techniques and patient aftercare have constantly improved to give patients a quicker, better result.

Likewise, many surgical procedures which would once have meant ‘opening the patient up’ can now be done through keyhole surgery. So a lengthy cut right into a patient’s body has been replaced by techniques which create smaller entry wounds. Small wounds pose less risk of infection which means they can be more easily managed and obviously heal far quicker, leaving minimal scarring. Again, the result is a shorter stay in hospital.

Operations which used to mean at least one overnight stay are now routinely done as day cases – and sometimes in places other than a hospital. Examples include: cataract removal, carpal tunnel surgery and vasectomy. That’s mainly due to greater use of local anaesthetics – another area of medicine where there have been significant developments in recent years .

I could go on … but I’m really interested in hearing YOUR stories about your treatment. If you’ve recently had surgery or have stories from a few years ago to compare with what’s happening now, I’d love to hear them. You can use the contact form to get in touch and with your permission we’ll put a selection online – anonymously if you prefer. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Filed under Chair's blog: Dr David Kelly

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