Specialist hip and knee surgery plan for Newham hospital

Newham University Hospital

Newham University Hospital - Credit: Archant

A “best in class” facility for hip and knee replacement surgery could be created at Newham University Hospital.

Barts Health NHS Trust is considering the possibility of using the Gateway Surgical Centre to provide more than 1,500 hip and knee replacements annually, along with significant volumes of other smaller orthopaedic operations.

More surgical beds could also be added to the main hospital site in an attempt to increase efficiency, according to new information revealed during a presentation by the Trust to Newham councillors last week.

The changes come following a recent decision to stop offering cancer bowel surgery at the hospital due to concerns about patient safety and a shortage of specialist surgeons.

Dr Ron Singer, chairman of Newham Save Our NHS, gave a cautious welcome to the new proposals.

Campaigners had previously feared that the removal of cancer bowel surgery would cause the hospital to be downgraded.

“There is a obvious need for Newham to have a substantial hospital and if Barts Health have a need to have a centre of excellence for orthopaedics I am very happy for it to be in Newham,” Dr Singer said.

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“But this doesn’t therefore mean other services can be cut from Newham and the issues of proper care for A&E and abdominal emergencies very much remain.”

A Barts Health NHS Trust spokesperson said: “In partnership with our local stakeholders, we continue to explore opportunities to invest in Newham hospital to develop and expand the range of services we provide for the people of Newham.”

He added that routine colorectal surgery is continuing to take place at Newham Hospital. Colorectal cancer surgery patients are treated at The Royal London and Whipps Cross.

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