New wellbeing programme for patients awaiting surgery

Communications TeamNews

People standing in a group stretching on a rugby field

Patients in Hull and the East Riding who are waiting for potentially life-changing hip and knee operations are being offered help to stay fit and well for surgery.

The new ‘Waiting Well – Orthopaedics’ programme is a joint venture between Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Forum and is due to launch this week.

Its aim is to provide wellbeing advice and access to group activities for appropriate patients to ensure, when the time comes for surgery, they have the best possible chance of success.

Almost 800 patients waiting for procedures such as hip and knee replacements and other complex procedures will be invited to join the Waiting Well programme, including some who have been waiting for several months and others who have more recently joined the hospital’s lists.

Eileen Henderson, Head of Outpatient Services for Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust says:

“It’s no secret that hospitals have been experiencing some challenges when it comes to tackling surgical waiting lists. While we are working through those lists as fast as we can, it’s important for patients to know that by leading a healthy lifestyle while they wait, they can improve their chances of surgical success.

“The Waiting Well programme is a great way for us to keep in touch with patients and encourage them to take part in gentle activity to promote mental and physical wellbeing while they wait. Patients will be offered a choice of activities to take part in according to their needs and preferences, and there will also be some tailored sessions for women only and the over 50s.

“While this programme will not avoid the need for surgery altogether, it will enable people to meet others like them and help them to manage issues such as weight and mental well-being which can sometimes be a problem for those waiting a long time for surgery.”

Group of people out walking in leafy green surroundingsWaiting Well – Orthopaedics follows in the footsteps of a similar project for cardiology patients, also delivered in partnership with Forum, which was introduced last summer.

In the same way, the orthopaedics programme will invite patients to take part in activities such as walking, exercise classes or gentle games of football to help maintain their physical and mental health, completely free of charge.

Well-known names  in the East Yorkshire health community, such as Tigers Trust, Fitmums and Friends, Hull KR and Hull FC, are partnering once again to deliver group exercise and social activity sessions as part of the Waiting Well project.

Jason Stamp, Chief Officer for Forum says:

“Providing creative and practical support to patients on the orthopaedic waiting list is a great opportunity to develop a strong partnership between Hull’s voluntary and community sector and Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust. This new initiative will support and signpost patients to a range of services in their local communities which can improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing”

Funded by the Waiting Well Boards at Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, the Waiting Well programme is open to all eligible patients living within Hull and the East Riding. Patients receiving invitations to take part have been reviewed and deemed clinically suitable, while the nature of the activities on offer has been designed with the specific needs of this patient group in mind.

The first cohort of eligible patients will begin receiving telephone contacts and letters inviting them to take part in the ‘Waiting Well – Orthopaedics’ project this week.