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In sickness and in health....

Liveryman Nanette Young subjects the NHS to professional scrutiny as they manage her hip replacement....

We know that some consultants are wed to the role and unable to stop identifying organisational problems and formulating solutions. I admit that I am one of those types of management consultants but have learned with the experience of years to remain diplomatically silent, unless an appropriate assignment and fee have been agreed.

But I do tend to approach most organisations, using my consultants’ “head” and when in January 2015, after a 10 year wait for a hip replacement (hip replacements are left as long as possible to ensure minimal replacements in a lifetime) I find myself entering the NHS Elective Orthopaedic Clinic (EOC) in Epsom, already impressed with the organisation.

Prior to the operation, I have been well informed by the surgeon and his team and have also received informative booklets and a DVD (no operations shown) advising me of many aspects of the surgery, including how to exercise after the operation and preparation for limited mobility at home.

At 7am, I and a number of “walking wounded” are welcomed to the EOC by a group of chirpy theatre staff including some very attractive men! Within half an hour of entering the EOC, I am in my theatre gown and being kept warm by this amazing hot air “blanket”, when more attractive men appear in my cubicle. Perhaps I have died and gone to heaven? The surgeon, his assistant and the anaesthetist discuss with me various aspects of the surgery and the anaesthetic.   SWOON....

I am wakened, in the intensive care unit around 10am, being asked by a nurse if I can wiggle my toes? Not quite yet. I spend the next hour practicing my technique. My medical care in the next few days will be managed by a team of these specialist nurses.

In the main ward, with two ladies, one aged 74 and the other aged 82, the nursing team support our “fast track” to walking health.

In the 24 hours after surgery, a team of physiotherapists appear and we are on our feet marching along the EOC corridor and the next couple of days involved practicing a range of exercises to prepare us for ease of mobility at home.

Within a week of surgery, in excellent health and pain free, I have been discharged from the OEC and back at my desk writing this article.

Long Live the NHS!

(If the rest of the NHS is like the EOC...?)






Liveryman Nanette Young