A NEW dedicated joint replacement (arthroplasty) unit that will provide joint replacement surgery for the population of North Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale and Bury has opened at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury.

The majority of elective joint replacement operations, such as hip and knee replacements, for patients in this catchment area will now take place in the newly built ward nine. The theatre complex at Fairfield General Hospital has also had a further two theatres converted to provide ‘ultra clean air’ which is needed to undertake such procedures. In all just under £1 million has been invested in the new unit.

As well as Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust runs The Royal Oldham Hospital, North Manchester General Hospital and community services, and Rochdale Infirmary and community services.

Mr Richard Heasley, Clinical Director Trauma and Orthopaedics, and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“The new state of the art Arthroplasty Unit at the Fairfield General Hospital is the largest within Manchester and means patients will now have improved outcomes following their operation. In addition, there will be fewer cancellations and shorter waiting times for our patients.”

The creation of the new arthroplasty unit at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury will see the centralisation of elective joint replacement surgery for The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and the North East Sector of Manchester.

The dedicated elective orthopaedic unit will bring together the expertise of trained orthopaedic staff in one place; it will be the largest within Manchester and will meet national standards for orthopaedic surgery set by Prof. Briggs in the Get it Right First Time Project.

Evidence suggests that patients receiving their surgery at this unit will have improved outcomes following their operation, it will be safer for patients, and deliver more effective patient care. The issue of cancellations due to a lack of beds will be significantly reduced, creating a better patient experience and shorter waiting times for our patients. Thanks to an enhanced recovery programme, patients will get home sooner.

Opening the new arthroplasty unit forms part of both the national and the devolution Manchester strategies. Theme three of this strategy recommended setting up a specialist unit to improve patient outcomes.

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