My new hip recently turned 12-weeks old.
I had expected to mark this milestone quietly with an x-ray and a follow up visit to my surgeon, but I had to rearrange my original appointment because of another work commitment. When I rang to rearrange, I explained that because my surgeon had done such an excellent job, I was back at work and busy making up for all those lost winter weeks spent goggling Sky Go box sets.
As the big day dawned, I celebrated the end of all the restrictions on my movement by joining some of my Steering Committee colleagues to speak at an NJR 10th Anniversary Regional Event. We were out in force, showcasing the work the NJR is doing to promote patient safety and positive clinical outcomes.
I was delighted to be able to show off my new-found mobility and pain-free state by joining my colleagues. And in high heels, no less. Whoop, whoop:
The NJR fielded its A-Team including:
- Elaine Young, NJR National Lead
- Martyn Porter, Orthopaedic Surgeon and NJR Medical Director
- Peter Howard, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Chair, NJR RCC Network.
The day was chaired by the very gracious Pedro Foguet, Orthopaedic Surgeon at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. Should he ever decide to retire his scalpel and bone saws, he would have a glittering second career in PR. He obviously used his persuasive powers to excellent effect in making sure the room was packed. It was standing room only with an impressive number of orthopaedic surgeons, clinicians, and managers attending.
We started the day with a comprehensive overview from Elaine on the work of the NJR, Martyn gave a pithy analysis of the Annual Report, sharing his insights on ten years of data, and yours truly shared the patient’s perspective.
I couldn’t resist relating some of the highs and lows of my own recent experience and was delighted by the very warm and generous response from the audience. They kindly laughed at all my jokes and asked loads of patient-focused questions during the Q&A panel session.
There was even a ‘lively’ exchange between clinicians who differed (aka nearly came to blows) over the question of whether it’s really necessary for patients to meet their surgeons. One audience member posited that having joint replacement surgery should engender the same level of confidence and trust as booking a flight to Malaga – a patient need not meet the surgeon before surgery just as a passenger does not ask to see the pilot’s licence before boarding. Yep, that one really got things going, and Pedro probably wished he had brought a referee’s whistle with him.
During the coffee break, I was very pleased to be approached by a dozen audience members – all surgeons – who wanted to chat further. It was clear to me how much genuine interest they had in their patients’ wellbeing and how much they wanted to make sure their own practice is as patient-focused as possible.