Patient 'amazed' as surgery wait drops from three years to two weeks

A hip operation patient has told of how she went from waiting three years for her surgery to two weeks.

Sandra Smith, who lives on the Welsh border to Warwick, managed to secure her hip replacement in a matter of weeks - thanks to a hospital trust partnership.

It comes as the trust, which runs Warwick Hospital, now has no patients spending more than two years on its waiting lists, for operations such as hip and knee operations.

SWIFT, the NHS South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, which runs Warwick now has no patients waiting more than 104 weeks for surgery, three months ahead of their target schedule.

Their partner trusts Wye Valley and George Eliot in Nuneaton can send over patients like Sandra Smith, ending her three-year wait for a hip replacement.

While two years is still above the 18 weeks the NHS was recommending before Covid-19, many other hospitals are struggling to meet even that increased waiting time.

'You're joking' - patient describes the moment she found out she could have her surgery

Ms Smith told ITV News Central: "When I got there, there was no waiting and I had my pre op and she said no go to the office and you will be given a date.

"And that date was two weeks later. And I said you're joking. How on earth can that be? And she said yes, we've got the burdens.

"We've got the staff, don't worry, it will happen. And it did!

The South Warwickshire Accelerated Transfer Team or SWATT also makes sure that patients don't stay in hospital longer than necessary.

Its complex but successful discharge programme is now being eyed up by larger NHS Trusts across the Midlands.Orthopaedic consultant Steve Young says the longer hours are more than worth the extra effort.

Mr Young said: "Yeah, it's extra work for me but I'm just the little bit in the middle and it's generated an awful lot of work for the pre-op team, who see the patients before and get them ready for surgery.

"The ward staff and then theatre space and yeah, it's a tough ask but they're a great team, working their socks off."

Patients are no longer waiting years for treatment Credit: ITV News Cental

Chief Executive Glen Burley added: "By running it effectively and by getting the patients in the right bed with the right team we do very little extra premium activity so we're not paying extra rates for it.

"We're doing it in the time that's in the consultant job plan.

"So, our evidence shows that we get good outcomes, but we're also one of the most cost-effective providers in the NHS."