Kettering General Hospital is launching a Joint School education session for some of the 400 local people who need hip or knee replacements each year.
The aim is to give patients a very clear view of what to expect from their operation and what is expected from them by the hospital.
It is hoped the new sessions will improve the patient s understanding and experience of their hospital care and help them to speed-up and maximise their own recovery.
Ashton Ward Matron Natalie Reynolds said: We think that our new Joint School will be a great benefit for patients preparing to have major joint replacement surgery.
Patients are given information at their Pre-Operative Assessment sessions however by attending the Joint School they get a lot more detail specifically about their surgery with opportunity to ask lots of questions and clarify any worries of concerns prior to their stay on Ashton Ward.
The first of the new weekly Joint School sessions were launched on July 1 and held in the resource room at Ashton Ward, next to the hospital s Treatment Centre. They involve an hour-long small group (six people) session with presentations by senior nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Natalie said: Staff from a variety of key disciplines talk patients through every step of their procedure and answer all of the very many questions that can arise for them along the way.
We start by explaining why joints need replacing, what the operation itself is, and then talk about what happens during the day of the operation itself.
We take patients through the various types of anaesthetic they can choose to have and then what to expect afterwards in terms of their wound care and rehabilitation.
We take them through the discharge process and what to expect when they go home in terms of simple and practical things like how to get dressed and what precautions they need to take to prevent problems like dislocation.
We also hope that by helping patients to fully understand their care and rehabilitation they will work hard at their exercises and reduce their length of stay in hospital which will be good for patient flow through the hospital.
Patient s view of the first Join School session
Barbara Clark, 69, from Rushden was one of the first people to experience the Joint School classroom session on July 1. Mrs Clark, who is married to Alan, and has two children, is due to have her right hip joint replaced.
She said: I thought it was a very good class and a very good idea. I learned a lot of things I didn t know before and they painted a very clear picture of what to expect during your operation and what happens afterwards.
You learn about the exercises you can do in advance of your operation and how you will use them afterwards to help you recover. It helps you to understand everything that will happen and why it is being done that way.
The Trust is starting with one session per week with a theme of either hip or knee replacements so each topic is covered once a fortnight. Unfortunately it will not be possible to offer the service to all joint replacement patients right away but the hope is the service will be able to be expanded in the future.