Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff are being given the opportunity to have their say on the Trust’s plans to improve the way orthopaedic services are provided.

The Trust has announced plans to treat all patients who require emergency surgery on broken bones at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, with Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, becoming a centre of excellence for hip and knee replacement surgery.

The proposed changes would allow the Trust to carry out emergency orthopaedic surgery at Basingstoke hospital seven days a week, meaning fewer delays, quicker recovery and improved outcomes for patients requiring this treatment. It is also expected to significantly reduce the number of patients whose planned operations are postponed due to emergencies, meaning shorter waiting times.

Following a lengthy period of informal internal discussions about how the service could be improved, formal consultation has now begun with the medical, nursing and support staff most closely involved in providing orthopaedic services for patients at both sites.

Julie Maskery, chief operating officer at Hampshire Hospitals, which runs Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals, as well as Andover War Memorial Hospital, said: “This consultation will enable us to understand the impact on those staff who will be directly affected, as well as give them the opportunity to have their say on how the proposed changes are implemented.”

Proposals have been shared with Hampshire’s Health and Social Care Advisory Committee (HASC), who agreed that the Trust could start testing the new service model at the same time as it carries out engagement with a wider range of staff, patients and other stakeholders, including carers, partner organisations and the public.

The Trust is hoping to start using the new way of treating trauma and orthopaedic patients in early December, to test whether the changes will bring about the anticipated benefits. This will be done by monitoring the quality of the service through a range of quantitative and qualitative measures to ensure that any unforeseen consequences are recognised and addressed at the earliest opportunity.

Julie Maskery added: “Throughout this process, our aim is to make sure that we find the right balance of specialist centralisation and local services, ensure any changes will work practically and safely and that we fully understand the potential impact, so they can be addressed or minimised.”

Visit our orthopaedic reconfiguration page for more information.