Boost for buddies at hospital
A BUDDY system designed to help patients recover quicker from knee and hip replacements has been given a big boost.Eight new reclining chairs have been installed at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, to help people get back on their feet even faster.
A BUDDY system designed to help patients recover quicker from knee and hip replacements has been given a big boost.
Eight new reclining chairs have been installed at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, to help people get back on their feet even faster.
The hospital's buddy system, which pairs up patients who have their operations at the same time so they can encourage each other on the road to recovery, has been handed the special chairs by the local Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS).
So far the buddy system, called the Joint Care Programme, has halved the number of days patients need to spend in hospital - from 12 days to six.
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Barbara Hardwick, a member of WRVS, was yesterday using the chairs in the social day care room after a hip replacement.
She said: “The chairs are very comfortable. We do our leg exercises in the chairs and you can recline the whole way back in them. It really helps to be talking to other people who have had a similar operation as well.
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“I had a hip replacement years ago and I was in the hospital for 11 days. Now you aren't expected to stay for more than five days.”
The WRVS allocated £10,000 of its earnings from 2005/06 for the eight recliners.
Dr Willem Schenk, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, went to see the programme working in Holland before it was introduced in west Suffolk.
He said: “Patients do not go to bed and stay there waiting for their individual physiotherapist and occupational therapist sessions.
“They sit in their 'care cliners' in a room and talk about their knees or hips and help each other along.
“They see each other's successes in the group rehabilitation. They know what to expect of the treatment, and that they are expected to put some work in to become more mobile.
“An extremely important part of this programme is patient education. Patients are partners in their treatment and rehabilitation.”
There is also now a three-hour limit on visiting times to give patients more time to rest and therapists more time to work with them.