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NHS Scotland reduces ‘postcode lottery’ for hip replacement surgery

28 February 2014 - 4:51pm

NHS Scotland has reduced the ‘postcode lottery’ for hip replacement surgery by expanding its services over the last 10 years, according to research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.


CSP policy officer for Scotland Kenryck Lloyd-Jones: 'the expansion of NHS capacity in Scotland was very good news for hip replacement patients'.

Researchers from the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health at Queen Mary University of London conducted the study, along with colleagues from the University of Edinburgh and Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

The researchers were able to establish that access to hip replacement surgery in Scotland has increased since 2003, when the NHS in Scotland introduced waiting time initiatives.

The study also found there had been a reduction in geographically related inequality, across all Scottish health boards, in the same time frame.

Reducing admissions

The researchers concluded that one key factor for the change was the Scottish government's decision to buy the privately owned Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank. The hospital is now run as a major NHS centre for orthopaedics and is dedicated to reducing waiting times in key elective specialties.

Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, CSP policy officer for Scotland, welcomed the research and said it demonstrated that the expansion of NHS capacity in Scotland was ‘very good news’ for hip replacement patients.

‘Of equal important is access to rehabilitation services, where physiotherapists play a crucial role for this patient group,’ said Mr Lloyd-Jones.

‘The emerging challenge is also to reduce hospital admissions in the future, and falls prevention services are essential to keeping older people healthy active and independent.

‘CSP Scotland is seeking more investment to extend preventive care and early intervention to physiotherapy to further reduce the demand on acute services.’ 


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