Award winning Lincolnshire baker rising to the health challenge

A 68-year-old former award-winning baker from Lincolnshire is back taking part in shooting and fishing just weeks after having a total knee replacement, thanks to his preparation for surgery and a minimally invasive procedure under local anaesthetic at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre. jcrop-preview

Mr Peter Welbourne ran a bakery in Navenby established by his grandfather Cornelius in 1896. In 2004 he took the title of England’s Tastiest Baker and he also won awards for his traditional Lincolnshire plum bread. “We always baked our goods to traditional recipes and cooked pies and sausage rolls from scratch, cooking our own meat to family-held recipes,” he said.

He started work in the shop with his father as a boy when the ovens were still coal-fired and without the aid of temperature gauges. Mr Welbourne said: “I loved my life in baking but a lifetime of work standing up took its toll on my knee joints. Added to work I played a great deal of sport over the years and I am not an indoor person. I prefer to be in the country, walking, fishing and shooting.

“I first went to my GP, who is very good, around eight years ago, as the pain was getting worse. He helped me to keep working, giving me advice to take up cycling to build up the muscles to support the knee and helping me with pain management.

“But last year the pain, as bone grated on bone, meant we had to take action and an x-ray revealed I need total joint replacements on both knees. I elected to be treated at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre as I had heard very positive reviews and a family friend works at the centre.”

Mr Welbourne elected to have his left knee treated first as it was causing the most pain. He explained: “I was run over twice when I was young and later I broke my left leg and kept working on it for almost a month, because that is what you did.”

Mr Welbourne was delighted with the centre and the treatment he received. “The place has a very friendly atmosphere. It is very clean and everyone I met could not do enough for me.  Everyone on the ward was treated with dignity and with a friendly caring way, and everyone coming back from surgery was pleased with how it went.”

Mr Welbourne had his operation under a regional block rather than under a traditional general anaesthetic. He said: “It was great. I do not like general anaesthetics: I do not feel right for days after. I was conscious throughout the operation but felt no pain at all. The team chatted to me throughout and it was reassuring. I could not believe I was having a cup of tea an hour later and I was up on my feet shortly after that.”

Medical director Marco La Malfa said: “I am delighted Mr Welbourne is happy with the procedure and I know he is hoping to come back to have his right knee treated. 

“By using this technique we are able to get people up on their feet, using crutches, on the same day. This not only builds confidence and helps to aid recovery, but it reduces the risk of patients developing deep vein thrombosis. It also enables us to get people back to their own home, often after just two days, and we know people recover better at home, where they feel comfortable.

“Mr Welbourne has helped his recovery by keeping fit and healthy and I would encourage anyone having joint replacement surgery to work with their GP or physiotherapist on preparing for treatment, as well as following the instructions they receive after the operation in order to get the best possible results.