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Trust leads on pioneering ‘high intensity’ hip surgery day

Surgical teams have performed more hip replacements in a single day than ever before with an innovative approach which maximises the number of patients treated.

In just one day, seven patients had hip replacement surgery in the Maidstone Orthopaedic Unit at Maidstone Hospital, the first time that theatre teams at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust have completed this number of hip replacement operations in a day.

All the patients were able to go home within 24 hours, thanks to minimally invasive surgery – which means less pain after the operation and a shorter recovery time – and the expertise of the anaesthetic team, who made sure the choice of pain relief allowed patients to be awake and on their feet as soon as possible after surgery. The surgical team also received support from the Trust’s pharmacists, radiologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

Known as HIT (High Intensity Theatre) lists, the approach focuses on just one type of procedure and minimises the turnaround time between operations. HIT lists were inspired by Formula 1 pitstop techniques, aiming for maximum efficiency and safety by getting rid of delays – in this case by shortening the turnaround time between patients – and giving the surgeon as much time as possible to operate. This allows more procedures to be completed in one day.

The HIT lists need careful planning to select suitable patients, bringing together managers, administration staff, therapists, nurses, pharmacists, anaesthetists and surgeons to select suitable patients, plan the order in which they are seen, and arrange all the equipment needed.

Theatre Manager, Susan Jounus coordinated the day and said: “we’re really pleased with the effort of all the teams involved and delighted to see all the patients going home on the same day to continue their recovery. We are planning to take this efficiency to our new Kent and Medway Orthopaedic Centre which opens next year”.

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Syed Ahmed who performed the hip replacement surgeries on the day, explained: “HIT lists need careful planning to make sure we can see patients in a streamlined manner on the day. This wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of a dedicated team, including Consultant Anaesthetist, Dr Kevin Fai. Everyone worked together exceptionally well and when we are able to do nearly 50% more non-urgent procedures than we would normally do in a single day, more patients benefit and it is worth the effort.”