Hospital’s ‘pen pal’ praises short waiting times for hip replacement surgery

Anthony Kearns, 71, a retired osteopath from Weston-Super-Mare, was so impressed by the quality and speed of his hip surgery at his local Care UK NHS Treatment Centre that he was intent on showing his appreciation to the team.

The hospital cannot accept financial gifts, so instead Anthony made a donation to its chosen charity, Heads Up, and had two boxes of pens made up for staff engraved with the message “Simply the Best”.

Anthony’s problems with his hip began four years ago. “Osteopathy is a very physical profession,” said Anthony, “and over time my hip pain made it harder and harder for me to treat my patients. It became apparent to me that I could no longer be my own solution to the problem, so I went to my GP who confirmed what I already knew – that I would need hip replacement surgery.”

As well as hindering his working life, Anthony’s hip pain was also impacting on his leisure activities – golf, gardening and other domestic activities simply became impossible.

His GP offered him the choice of six hospitals for his hip replacement surgery. His local Care UK NHS Treatment Centre was top of the list statistically and the waiting time was short, so this was Anthony’s choice.

He said: “I saw my GP at the beginning of the year and by 1st May I was in hospital being prepped for surgery – even though it was a Bank Holiday it was just another working day for the superb team at my local Care UK NHS Treatment Centre.”

Anthony added: “It was a pleasant surprise to me to be seen so soon – I’d had it in mind that I wouldn’t have surgery until the end of this year or even early 2018. Everything about the experience was excellent, from the initial outpatient appointment to the levels of cleanliness and care during my three night stay and the treatment I have received after discharge.”

Anthony is hoping to return to his local Care UK NHS Treatment Centre as and when he needs hip replacement surgery on his left hip. He is now building up his levels of fitness and is looking forward to taking up golf again.

He said: “My recovery has been wonderful and I put that down to the excellent care I received. I wanted to show my appreciation and I understand the pens are going down very well – it was my absolute pleasure to present them to the team.”

Chester Barnes, Hospital Director at Anthony’s local Care UK NHS Treatment Centre, commented: “We are delighted that Anthony chose us for his treatment, and to hear that when we were offered as part of his choice we were top of the list. We are immensely grateful for his gift of personalised pens – it was such an imaginative idea and our teams are using them throughout the hospital.”

Care UK NHS Treatment Centres are part of the choice available to patients for NHS care. If a GP or other referring health professional agrees that a patient needs treatment, and it is for a procedure carried out at a Care UK NHS Treatment Centre, then that patient can ask to be referred to the hospital for their care.