FOR many, an operation is a daunting experience, with few looking forward to a stint in hospital.
But Peter Dobson, a 78-year-old ex-magistrate from Pagham has likened his stay at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester to a ‘very pleasant’ hotel.
Mr Dobson was booked in for hip replacement surgery, on September 3, and was discharged the very next day.
“It should be renamed the Chichester hotel,” said Mr Dobson.
“All that I was told was that I would get good, standard treatment.
“The girls in the surgery worked so hard. The quality and dedication in that hospital was amazing.
“I couldn’t believe I could be in and out so fast.
Mr Dobson praised his registrar and surgeon for their speedy work.
“I’m so grateful to them all.”
Last year Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust developed an enhanced recovery programme for planned hip and knee replacements – helping patients to go home faster.
“Since the programme was introduced, the average stay for hip and knee patients has fallen from seven to four days,” said a spokesman for the trust.
The programme includes a session with anaesthetists, physiotherapists and specialist nurses before surgery.
Patients no longer receive a general anaesthetic – just a spinal injection, which stops drowsiness, reduces nausea and bleeding, and make it easier to get patients up and moving afterwards.
Mr Richard Hill, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Trust, said: “We are seeing a real transformation in the way patients respond after their operation, and our ambition is that patients stay for an average of just three days – that would show that we are giving a standard of care to rival anywhere in the country.”
Mr Dobson said the operation had given him a ‘new lease of life’.
“I used to be fairly active and I have a beautiful old Bentley but I couldn’t push the clutch down.
“Before they saw my hip was starting to grind down. It used to hurt to sit too, but now I feel so much better.”