Winning the lottery
The Medical Technology Group’s latest report suggests that timing is more critical than ever for determining how quickly patients needing a knee or hip replacement will receive treatment
The ‘time of year’ lottery faced by patients needing a knee or hip replacement on the NHS became worse in 2014, data from the Medical Technology Group has revealed. The Group’s report ‘Hip and knee replacements: combating patient lotteries’ suggests that timing is more critical than ever in determining how soon patients receive treatment.
There is also dramatic regional variation, with knee operations falling by 33 per cent in London compared with a drop of just 2.5 per cent in the North East.
The report has also revealed for the first time that the number of hip and knee replacements on the NHS in England has fallen dramatically from March to April almost every year from 2004 to 2013, implying that NHS Trusts’ financial calendars are driving patients’ access to therapy.
The national picture
Government data suggest that shortly before Christmas may be the best time of year to be referred for hip or knee joint replacement.
Between March and April last year, hip operations fell by…
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