Seeking views on proposals to redesign orthopaedic services

MAIN Seeking views on proposals to redesign orthopaedic services (1)

NHS Tayside has launched a three-month public consultation on proposals to redesign orthopaedic services as part of its Transforming Tayside programme.

NHS Tayside is proposing to make changes to where surgeons, doctors and nurses deliver orthopaedic surgery in the region, including planned operations and unplanned trauma operations. The Shaping Orthopaedic Services proposal aims to improve outcomes for patients and the experience they have, as well as improve quality and safety of care.

Launching the consultation, consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon Sankar Sripada said, “It is vital that services are designed to manage both unplanned trauma care and planned care as effectively as possible to benefit patients and to ensure we use NHS resources in the best way.

“Patient safety and high quality care are our top priorities. The proposed redesign of orthopaedic services will ensure the long-term sustainability of orthopaedic services in NHS Tayside and will improve the quality of care and enhance patient safety.

“Feedback from our communities is vital and we would encourage members of the public to take part in the consultation and share their views on the proposed future plans for orthopaedic services in Tayside.”

The public consultation on Shaping Orthopaedic Services will run from Monday, 29 July to Thursday, 31 October 2019.

What the proposed changes include

Patient with stiffener on the leg walking with crutches during rehabilitation

Orthopaedic surgeons, doctors, nurses and other members of the clinical team are leading the proposed change and they explored many options on how orthopaedic services can be designed in Tayside with other clinical teams, managers, staff, union representatives and NHS Tayside public partners.

The clinically preferred option was then presented to the Board of NHS Tayside, which supported the option and agreed that people should be consulted on the following proposal:

  • All unplanned orthopaedic surgical trauma operations will be carried out at Ninewells Hospital. Patients who require further care will be transferred back to a suitable hospital closest to home within 48-72 hours after their unplanned surgery, as long as they are well enough.
  • Centres of excellence for planned surgery will be established in Perth Royal Infirmary and continue at Stracathro Hospital. A centre of excellence is where expert health professionals work together to provide the very best specialist care and treatment for patients in a dedicated area or site.
  • More planned orthopaedic operations will be carried out in Perth Royal Infirmary and Stracathro Hospital, resulting in around 400 more operations per year and a reduction in waiting times.

Why we need to make changes

The population is living longer and over the next 20 years, there will be an increase in the number of older people in Tayside. This means there is continuing higher demand for unplanned trauma and planned orthopaedic services across the region.

For these reasons, NHS Tayside cannot keep delivering health services the way they have always delivered them. Services throughout NHS Tayside need to adapt to ensure they meet the current and future needs of the population.

At the moment, unplanned orthopaedic trauma operations are carried out in both Ninewells Hospital and Perth Royal Infirmary, while planned orthopaedic operations take place on our three acute sites in Ninewells Hospital, Perth Royal Infirmary and Stracathro Hospital.

However, evidence shows that separation of planned and unplanned orthopaedic surgery is recommended as best practice to ensure that patients always receive the care they need in the most appropriate site and in a more timely way.

The proposed redesign of orthopaedic services will create a service that allows NHS Tayside to deliver high quality care, respond to growing numbers of patients, reduce patient waiting times and make best use of our three acute hospital sites.

Providing all unplanned orthopaedic surgery at Ninewells Hospital will result in improvements to the standards and speed of care for patients who need an unplanned orthopaedic operation to treat a trauma injury. This will mean that all Tayside orthopaedic trauma patients will be treated within the recommended timeframe that surgeons have set out, and will access specialist consultants and emergency theatres 24-hours-a-day.

The proposed change will also increase the number of planned orthopaedic operations carried out in Perth Royal Infirmary and Stracathro Hospital, leading to reduced waiting times for patients who need an orthopaedic operation.

How to get involved

During the consultation, the Shaping Orthopaedic Services programme will be gathering views and feedback on the preferred options from patients, staff, members of the public and other interested stakeholders.

All stakeholder views will be included in a final report with recommendations for the new service model, which will be presented back to NHS Tayside Board for a final decision.

Information about the consultation is available at where people can find out more about the proposed redesign and complete an online questionnaire.

Wider public engagement events about Transforming Tayside and Shaping Orthopaedic Services are being planned to give everyone the chance to have their say.

Smaller community pop-up events, where people can give their feedback and find out how to get more information are also being planned across Tayside, including in Arbroath, Auchterarder, Blairgowrie, Crieff, Dundee, Perth and Pitlochry.

Details of these will be publicised widely as soon as plans are finalised.

For further information or if you have any further questions, please call 0800 7836110 or email You can also visit the Transforming Tayside pages on Staffnet or at

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