Mapping health services available to patients waiting for joint replacement

Theme Surgical and orthopaedic innovation

Workstream Interventions to improve patient outcomes after surgery

Status: This project is ongoing

As of April 2023, over 40 per cent of people on NHS waiting lists (a record 3.1 million patients) have been waiting for elective hospital treatment for more than 18 weeks. Hip and knee replacement surgeries have the highest waiting times, with some patients waiting up to two years. During this time, patients are living with severe pain, limited mobility and poor mental health.

The time before an operation provides a window of opportunity to ensure patients undergo surgery in the best health possible, which minimises their risk of a poor outcome after surgery. Providing support and interventions during the wait for surgery could potentially help people to manage their symptoms and prevent a decline in general health.

However, there is currently a lack of information about services provided to patients on the waiting list for joint replacement. We need this information to identify gaps in care and highlight the need for new interventions.

During this project our aim is to:

  • Build a clear picture of current services available to patients on the waiting list for joint replacement
  • Identify priority areas for future research

To understand care provision for patients on waiting lists for hip and knee replacements, we will conduct a national survey with NHS orthopaedic centres and analyse the responses we receive. Our aim is for this work to inform future research that will help us develop novel interventions to optimise the health of patients waiting for joint replacement.