People across Hampshire who require emergency surgery on broken bones are being treated sooner thanks to improvements made by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Changes to trauma and orthopaedic services mean that the trust is now able to carry out emergency surgery seven days a week, meaning fewer delays, quicker recovery and improved outcomes for patients.

The move is also expected to significantly reduce the number of patients, whose planned operations are postponed due to emergencies, meaning shorter waiting times.

Julie Maskery, chief operating officer at Hampshire Hospitals, which includes Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, said:

“We are delighted to be testing this new service model for trauma and orthopaedic care, which incorporates the very latest thinking and will enable us to provide the best possible care for all of our patients.

“In order to provide emergency surgery seven days a week, we have taken the decision to move all emergency orthopaedic surgery to Basingstoke hospital. We took this decision after a careful review of the clinical evidence and in consultation with our frontline staff. All of the evidence suggests that it is the right thing to do for our patients.

“Patients who may need emergency surgery are taken directly to Basingstoke hospital by ambulance. We also have a dedicated ambulance available to transfer patients who self-present at Winchester so nobody will face an extended journey without full medical support. However, where it is assessed as safe, patients are able to make their own arrangements if they prefer.

“Concurrently we are creating a centre of excellence for hip and knee replacement surgery at Winchester hospital, building on the outstanding work that is already delivered there and ensuring the best possible care for all patients who require this treatment. It will also help to ensure that fewer planned operations are cancelled to make way for emergency surgery, bringing down waiting times.”

All other orthopaedic surgery will continue to be carried out at both Basingstoke and Winchester, and staff at both locations have been fully engaged and consulted throughout the process, with no redundancies being made as a result of the changes.

The trust has also worked closely with Hampshire County Council and has been collecting feedback from affected patients since December 4, when testing the new system began.

Click here to find out more about out orthopaedic reconfiguration programme.