From 1 April the trust will officially be named as a major revision centre as part of a national drive to standardise care and ensure all knee revision patients receive the right operation for their individual needs, from the right surgeon, in the right hospital.
Every year expert surgeons at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust carry out around 70 operations to redo failed knee replacements.
Patients requiring this complex second round of surgery are referred from across the region to be operated on by the trust’s team of experienced orthopaedic surgeons.
Across the country there is a wide variation in the number of these procedures hospitals perform – some doing less than ten a year – and how decisions are made as to whether patients who are having problems with their knee replacements should undergo further surgery.
Trust named as major revision centre
But from 1 April the trust will officially be named as a major revision centre as part of a national drive to standardise care and ensure all knee revision patients receive the right operation for their individual needs, from the right surgeon, in the right hospital.
Across the North East, Cumbria and Yorkshire, five revision networks are being created each led by a major revision centre and supported by additional funding from NHS England and regional specialist commissioning.
South Tees is taking the lead for the southern part of the North East and Cumbria region, overseeing knee revision surgery performed at South Tees, North Tees and Hartlepool, South Tyneside and Sunderland, County Durham and Darlington and Harrogate NHS trusts.
This will involve coordinating meetings with specialists from across the region to support decision making and ensure the best use of the area’s leading surgeons.
Improving decision making
Paul Baker, network lead said: “All complex revision cases will now be discussed in a dedicated regional team meeting which will improve decision making and provide expert advice.
“This could lead to us taking on a greater number of complex cases, but what it is really about is trying to ensure patients get the very best care available – the right operation, with the right surgeon in the right hospital – every time.
“There are hundreds of reasons why a knee replacement might fail – the most commonest of reasons being an infection or the replacement wearing out over time – and it can be a complex procedure to put it right.
“Sharing expertise across the region will enable us to improve clinical outcomes and provide the best care for patients. It will also provide a better experience for patients while also helping to keep hospital beds free for those who need them most.”