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A physiotherapy team at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (NOC) recently won a prestigious award at the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer Awards.

The Enhanced Recovery Therapy Team won the Allied Health Professionals Quality Improvement Award for significantly reducing the length of patient stays in hospital.

The team developed an innovative treatment plan for patients undergoing knee replacement surgery which meant that they could go home much more quickly.

Normally, flexion exercises which involve the bending of a particular joint are carried out very quickly after surgery.  Part of the team’s award-winning treatment was to delay these particular exercises, particularly when early mobilisation can result in increased pain and swelling which inevitably delay patients leaving hospital.

The team carried out the revised treatment between September 2016 and January 2019.  During that time, 46% of patients who had knee replacement operations went home on the day of surgery, with 35% going home the day afterwards.

Professor Karen Barker, Clinical Director for Trauma and Orthopaedics, said: “We’re delighted to win this award.  The team has worked incredibly hard to make these changes, and one of the most valuable outcomes has been the improved experience for patients – we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from them.

“Reducing the length of patient stays in hospital is a priority across the NHS.  We carry out around 2,000 joint replacement operations a year at the NOC, of which around 850 are knee replacements.  By making these changes, we make life easier for our patients but also save our Trust valuable time and money.”

Jon Westbrook, Divisional Director for Trauma and Orthopaedics, said: “I’m incredibly proud of our team for winning this well-deserved award.

“Patient care is at the heart of everything they do, and these changes in treatment have led to improved outcomes for our patients with excellent feedback.”