Health minister praises Warwick Hospital’s care for hip and knee patients

A TEAM of health professionals at Warwick Hospital who specialise in care after hip and knee replacements has been praised by the Minister of State for Health.

During a visit to the site in Lakin Road, Simon Burns carried out a review of the South Warwickshire Accelerated Transfer Team (Swatt), which helps patients make the transition from the ward to an independent lifestyle.

He said: “I’m delighted I was able to meet the clinicians behind the Swatt’s success and some of the patients benefitting from their care.

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“Our population is ageing – as the number of people who live over 85 increases the number of hip and knee replacements is also rising. As more people will rely on this vital surgery, it’s important that surgeons are able to treat more patients quickly and with better results.

“The work that the Swatt are doing has enabled patients to receive treatment from their home, instead of staying in hospital, away from friends and family.”

Thanks to the work of the surgeons, anaesthetists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses who are part of the Swatt, the average stay of patients on the ward at Warwick Hospital following such operations is now just over three days, compared to a national average of five.

Mr Andrew Shepherd, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital, said “The Swatt has been working very hard to return people to their home environments as soon as possible.

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“Patients are often anxious about their stay in hospital and so an early discharge programme is very popular. Our highly skilled team allows hospital style care to be done in the comfort of the patient’s own home.”

Glen Burley, chief executive of the trust that runs the hospital, said: “The work the Swatt team does is fantastic and fits in with the trust’s vision to provide more care in people’s homes.”

Mr Burns also spent time at the hospital’s pathology laboratory and Aylesford Unit for cancer patients.