Residents in Castle Point, Rochford and Southend-on-Sea are being asked for their views on proposed changes to orthopaedic care.
The two local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) - NHS Southend CCG and NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG - are jointly reviewing their policies in the hope they can improve outcomes for patients after surgery. The move is supported by Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Currently patients have to meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for orthopaedic surgery, but clinicians have raised concerns that existing criteria is not stringent enough. This means patients are undergoing surgery despite having other, related health conditions and suffering poorer outcomes as a result.
Dr Brian Houston, Southend CCG Governing Body Member and clinical lead for Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment (MSK) said: “We are potentially going to change our eligibility criteria for total hip replacements, simultaneous joint replacements, total knee replacements and arthroscopy.
“Surgery is not always completely successful if patients have not addressed other conditions which impact on their physical health. There is clear evidence that patients who have a BMI of 40+ or who smoke have poorer outcomes following hip and knee replacements.
“This is where we are looking to enhance the existing criteria and we want to hear views from local residents, and have today launched a public consultation.”
The consultation closed on 21 September 2016.