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Nhs Paying High Price For Bungled Hip Replacements At Private Centres

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_...icle6843637.ece

People having hip replacements at private treatment centres brought in to cut waiting times are up to 20 times more likely to need painful and expensive repair work. Many operations are having to be redone in NHS hospitals, at great cost and with serious staffing implications for the health service.

A study by orthopaedic surgeons in Cardiff found that of 113 hip operations on patients sent from their NHS trust to Weston-super-Mare NHS Treatment Centre between 2004 and 2006, two thirds showed clear evidence of poor surgical technique, such as poor cementing of the hip.

In the three years since the operation, 18 per cent had undergone revision or were awaiting an operation — 20 times the 0.9 per cent NHS-wide revision rate at three years. A study on knee operations at the unit, conducted earlier this year, recorded a tenfold increase in revision rates.

Since the Independent Sector Treatment Centre (ISTC) programme was introduced in 2003, dozens of centres have been set up, mainly conducting orthopaedic surgery, cataracts and diagnostic screening. A total of 44 are described as NHS centres — though they are often staffed by independent sector contracts — and 23 are provided by private companies.

Leading surgeons said that this new data underlined the need for a significent overhaul of the multimillion-pound programme, which was introduced with great fanfare by the Government to reduce waiting times and increase patient choice.

They said a total lack of supervision of the sector and its clinical outcomes was a dereliction of duty by the Government, which had put a premium on reducing numbers rather than patient care. Early concerns about poorly vetted overseas doctors carrying out the work had not been addressed, they said.

The Cardiff study, published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, offers the most compelling evidence to date of problems with care in the sector, and the lack of proper auditing.Surgeons told The Times that the data backed anecdotal reports from elsewhere in the country, although it was likely to be at the high end. They said that NHS trusts were being left to manage the extra workload created.

While a hip replacement costs £6,000, the more complex repair operations, with more expensive implants, bone grafts and longer hospital stays, cost between £10,000 and £15,000. In an accompanying editorial in the journal, Fares Haddad, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon based at University College Hospital, London, says that the whole programme is in jeopardy because of the lack proper audit and follow-up. He adds that were such performance data available — and even if revision rates were lower — it would still “make the economic argument for ISTCs untenableâ€.

Mr Haddad told The Times that the disruption caused by the errors had an acute impact on hospitals, budgets and patients. He said that a revision rate of 3 per cent would still be unacceptable as it was “200 per cent greater than the NHS normâ€, and even more so given that most treatment centres were sent the easier orthopaedic cases.

“We all want to cut waiting lists and give excellent care to patients,†he said. “But this was introduced without data to show that it worked. We are now seeing the studies to show that.

Yet again another successful govt policy.

Just as long as the waiting lists are down and sod the quality.

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Did they also do a comparison to the ones done by the NHS? The mother-in-law had to have hers done again due to an infection getting in during the op. Unsurprisingly that was in an NHS hospital.

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Did they also do a comparison to the ones done by the NHS? The mother-in-law had to have hers done again due to an infection getting in during the op. Unsurprisingly that was in an NHS hospital.

Yes, as the article says, the error rate was 3 times the NHS norm despite the private sector getting the easiest cases.

Honestly, getting free market ideologues to accept the reality that the state does some things better (not all, some, shades of grey being a hard concept obviously) is like getting a 1930s english socialist to accept that Stalin was not running a worker's paradise in Russia.

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in my experience not only do they take the simpler cases, which are obviously more lucrative for them, leaving the NHS with the more complex and expensive cases. But they also leave the NHS to clear up the mess when things go wrong/post op complications etc. (more cost for NHS). In Edinburgh the private surgical hospital is moving closer to the Royal infirmary, the rumour being that when things went wrong, the ambulance journey across the city to the NHS hospital was taking too long.

Its all part of the EU master plan to sell off anything that can be profitable, so their pals can get rich while the proletariat suffer.

uw153575.jpg

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Yes, as the article says, the error rate was 3 times the NHS norm despite the private sector getting the easiest cases.

Honestly, getting free market ideologues to accept the reality that the state does some things better (not all, some, shades of grey being a hard concept obviously) is like getting a 1930s english socialist to accept that Stalin was not running a worker's paradise in Russia.

I was thinking exactly the same thing. If people had been listening, a few of the medical or medical-related posters had already flagged this issue a while back actually. Indeed, we had a bit of a 'scoop' in that regard. But the usual suspects either didn't read it or didn't believe it or ignored it because it didn't match their preconceptions and carried on their ill-informed ranting anyway.

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Yes, as the article says, the error rate was 3 times the NHS norm despite the private sector getting the easiest cases.

Thanks. The MIL is due to have her other hip done in October. Hope they know what they're doing. :o

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This is typical of the private sector. Only interested in profitable stuff. When they make a ****-up, the patient gets rushed back to the NHS.

How many private providers are in interested in cancer treatment? Not many as too expensive.

The NHS shouldn't be doing bull-shit stuff like tattoo removal or fertility treatment though. Already too many people on the planet.

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_...icle6843637.ece

Yet again another successful govt policy.

Just as long as the waiting lists are down and sod the quality.

I can confirm that this is common place - my wife works for the NHS and they are having to clear up after private operations more and more these days. Not only are some of the operations botched, but after care such as physiotherapy (which is seen as an essential part of treatment in NHS hospitals) is often an optional extra in the private sector and a lot of people are opting out due to the extra cost. This is causing a lot of patients whose operations actually went well to recover poorly and need another, more complicated & more expensive operation or a long period of rehab at the taxpayers expense.

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I was thinking exactly the same thing. If people had been listening, a few of the medical or medical-related posters had already flagged this issue a while back actually. Indeed, we had a bit of a 'scoop' in that regard. But the usual suspects either didn't read it or didn't believe it or ignored it because it didn't match their preconceptions and carried on their ill-informed ranting anyway.

Precisely.

As I write this-from an ISTC- the guys who run the company that do these ops' in our area have their porsches outside.

Crap operations on easy cases AT YOUR EXPENSE.

Many of these have to be revised by my British trained NHS coleagues ( it has been audited).

Similar to banksters shenanigans, it's all about "off the books risk."

Also, returning to one of my themes that Blair with his spin infected all aspects of British life adversley, is it likely that non-british trained surgeons who haven't made it in their own country would perform to the same standards? We all wanted to believe the world was much nicer than it actually is-so they spun it as so.

No chance.

Everyone can make money with houses.

Everyone can have a degree.

Everyone who wants to can become a doctor.

Everyone is as good as everone else.

Everyone can be a surgeon....

Wait until the new generation of surgeons become the norm and you need emergency complex surgery. They spend insufficient time at work, working, and training.They are not up to it.

Still, at least it's family freindly and everyone who wants to can do it.......NOT!

One of my colleagues frets over this endlessly.

Nick

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This is typical of the private sector. Only interested in profitable stuff. When they make a ****-up, the patient gets rushed back to the NHS.

How many private providers are in interested in cancer treatment? Not many as too expensive.

The NHS shouldn't be doing bull-shit stuff like tattoo removal or fertility treatment though. Already too many people on the planet.

Patients who endure f*ck -ups are also taxpayers and have a right tobe transferred to ITUs etc. as much as anyone else.

Arguably moreso, as they pay more than the average tax.

We don't do tattos.

Fertility is very tightly rationed..... (gays and lesbos only...only joking!)

The first people to be rationed should be thosewho do not contribute.

The poor, unemployed,single mums and their children...... see where this gets us??

Nowhere.

I hope for your sake your Jesus saves you!

Nick

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