Waiting times for hip replacements set to go up again

WELSH patients needing hip replacements are waiting more than twice as long as people in England for their operations, it is revealed this week.

Government figures show that patients in Wales wait six months for treatment, wheras in England, patients can expect to be operated on within 11 weeks.

And with the Hywel Dda health board cutting the number of orthopaedic operations it carries out this winter by half, waiting times in Pembrokeshire are going to get even longer, said MP Simon Hart.

Mr Hart and Welsh shadow health minister Darren Millar launched a joint investigation into waiting times after contact from concerned constituents.

Amongst them was 57-year-old Athena Williams from Milton, who was told that she would need to wait between 12 and 18 months for a hip replacement operation.

Mrs Williams retired from her job as a nurse practitioner in Pembroke two years ago after working in the National Health Service for 40 years.

She used nearly £10,000 of her pension money to pay for her operation to be carried out privately, and came home from hospital on Tuesday of last week.

“For the last two years, my hip had felt very weak with a great deal of discomfort, and I hadn’t been able to walk very far,” she said this week. “There was no way I could wait for 12 to 18 months - I’ve got things I want to do in my life.

“Fortunately I could afford to pay for the operation, and I feel that it was money well spent, but that should not have to happen.

“I am particularly concerned about the discrepancy in waiting times between Wales and England - I have relatives in the Midlands who have been told they would only have to wait two or three months.”

Mr Hart and Mr Millar, Assembly Member for Clwyd West, were given their figures by Welsh health minister, Mark Drakeford and Jane Ellison MP, under-secretary of state for public health.

This revealed that the average waiting time for a hip replacement in Wales in 2012 was 169 days - or just over six months - while in England it was 78 days.

Said Mr Hart: “We are hearing first-hand from constituents that we are getting a second-class health service in Weales, and now we have the figures to prove it.”

Added Mr Millar: “There can be no excuses for the wide disparity in performance between England and Wales - Welsh patients desrve to have timely access to treatment such as hip operations, and delays can cause misery to them and their loved ones.

“The Welsh Labour government must get a grip of this situation and ensure that the NHS has the resources it needs to provide the high-quality care which the public rightly demand.”

Comments (3)

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9:15am Sun 16 Feb 14

teifion says...

The Welsh NHS had a higher spend per "customer" as a budget than England, unfortunately it has been wasted on free prescriptions for all, free parking for many, too many managers, too many levels of administration, getting rid of senior managers with a huge payout before the new trust takes them back on with a HUGE salary (shades of Bryn Jones when he becomes dicktator of the new "Dyfed"?)
England despite the many complaints one does get 24+ life saving cancer drugs, maybe the Senedd does,t instigate investigations as THEY might be criticised - s0d the patients - we can blame the dresdful death rates on "England" on smoking, not eating veg and the Welsh generally being fatter
The Welsh NHS had a higher spend per "customer" as a budget than England, unfortunately it has been wasted on free prescriptions for all, free parking for many, too many managers, too many levels of administration, getting rid of senior managers with a huge payout before the new trust takes them back on with a HUGE salary (shades of Bryn Jones when he becomes dicktator of the new "Dyfed"?) England despite the many complaints one does get 24+ life saving cancer drugs, maybe the Senedd does,t instigate investigations as THEY might be criticised - s0d the patients - we can blame the dresdful death rates on "England" on smoking, not eating veg and the Welsh generally being fatter teifion
  • Score: 7

10:45am Sun 16 Feb 14

chizy says...

Here we go again, politicians earning their keep by blaming each other. "The Welsh Labour government blah,blah,blah". If your lot had your way we all would be paying for health care privately.
And the 'disparity between England and Wales' quote. Really? And this disparity is a new concept? How exactly?
Stop pointing the finger and DO SOMETHING!!!
You are all as bad as each other, some much worse than others.
Anyway, I won't believe Mr Hart really cares until I see a photo of him looking concerned outside Withybush.
Remind me, how many days to the election?
Honestly. We pay taxes for this.............
Here we go again, politicians earning their keep by blaming each other. "The Welsh Labour government blah,blah,blah". If your lot had your way we all would be paying for health care privately. And the 'disparity between England and Wales' quote. Really? And this disparity is a new concept? How exactly? Stop pointing the finger and DO SOMETHING!!! You are all as bad as each other, some much worse than others. Anyway, I won't believe Mr Hart really cares until I see a photo of him looking concerned outside Withybush. Remind me, how many days to the election? Honestly. We pay taxes for this............. chizy
  • Score: 1

11:44am Sun 16 Feb 14

Andrew Lye says...

The Welsh Labour Government says the NHS is safe in Labour's hands.
Labour in England blast the coalition Govt for its handling of the NHS and yet they should look at what their party is doing to us in Wales.
The stats time and time again show that the NHS in England is performing far better than it is in Wales.
Is the NHS safe in Welsh Labour's hands?
I do my utmost to keep out of hospitals and fear that on the day I will need it, it won't be there for me.
Instead of their old and outdated socialist ideas, Welsh Labour should provide a healthcare fit for the 21st Century.
The Welsh Labour Government says the NHS is safe in Labour's hands. Labour in England blast the coalition Govt for its handling of the NHS and yet they should look at what their party is doing to us in Wales. The stats time and time again show that the NHS in England is performing far better than it is in Wales. Is the NHS safe in Welsh Labour's hands? I do my utmost to keep out of hospitals and fear that on the day I will need it, it won't be there for me. Instead of their old and outdated socialist ideas, Welsh Labour should provide a healthcare fit for the 21st Century. Andrew Lye
  • Score: 6

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