Better information gets hip and knee patients back on their feet faster Better information for Bay of Plenty patients about what to expect before, during and after total hip or knee replacements is helping them get back on their feet faster. hospital has dropped from 4 to 3 days. It’s also below the national average. Service Improvement Programme Manager Wendy Carey says, “Making sure patients are well informed before their surgery is really important. It helps them prepare; both physically and mentally and recover quicker which helps to reduce the risk of complications. As part of a national programme designed to improve care for people having these operations, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) has been providing weekly education classes at both hospitals. “Knowing what to do and what not to do post-surgery is really important for the patient’s recovery.” At the sessions, well in advance of surgery, patients learn what to expect and what they can do to aid their recovery after surgery. They’re also provided with an information handbook covering every aspect of the process. Including post- surgery exercise, the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of how to sit and move and who to call for support once they’re discharged from hospital. A survey of patients who’d had hip or knee replacements this year at both Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals shows having an information handbook covering every step of the process was a huge help. 91% of those surveyed rated the handbook as highly valuable and 98% said they felt well prepared for their surgery and discharge from hospital having read the book. Maketu man Charles Peni, who had a knee replacement early this year, credits the information with getting him back on his feet faster. Charles Peni is well on the recovery path. He was playing competitive tennis prior to surgery and he’s adamant, he’ll be back on the court this season. “I knew the operation was going to be a major. And I know plenty of people who’ve had knee replacements and who’ve had a slow recovery. Having education sessions and all the information at my fingertips well before my operation meant I was well prepared. I think those sessions should be compulsory.” “I’m following the advice and now having physiotherapy on my knee at Tauranga Hospital. Where I live I could go to either hospital. I had my op in Whakatāne Hospital but a physio appointment came up in Tauranga, so I opted for that. It really makes no difference to me the staff have been great at both hospitals.” Charles had his operation in Whakatāne Hospital in March. After three nights in hospital he was able to go home. Since the BOPDHB has increased the level of information and education available for total hip and knee replacement patients, the average time those patients have had to stay in Charles Peni working on building strength at Tauranga Hospital’s Physio Department after his knee replacement early this year. Charles says his knee’s getting better every day. He’s even managed a short jog to the odd lamppost. “I’ve always believed in keeping yourself fit. Some of our tennis club members are in their 80s and still going strong and I plan to do the same.” From the Chair In this edition of Health Matters you will see some of the initiatives staff at our hospitals are doing to get people back to being active members of our communities. Now is a great time to be thinking about being more active. The weather is getting warmer, Spring is in the air! This makes me reflect on my own fitness. Around this time a couple of years back, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board members and Senior Executive challenged themselves to do the Oxfam 50 km walk in Whakatāne at the end of that summer. One group of hardened souls even aimed to do the 100 km route. Part of the motivation for me, was recognising that getting up and getting moving is important if I am to avoid getting stiffer and slower with age. In this stunning Bay of Plenty climate, the weather is no excuse; it is really just a matter of making the choice to do something. Anything; just do something. When my father was my age he could literally not walk to the letterbox. One day he decided to improve his fitness. He started by getting out of his car and walking to the letterbox. Later that year he ran the Rotorua marathon. What can you do to actively enjoy the increasing hours of sun and extra warmth? Perhaps a walk to the shop? Or a cycle around town? Kicking a ball around with the kids? How soon will it be warm enough for a swim at the beach? Even clearing up the garden can be a satisfying day in the sun and open air. Many people need a goal to get them started: You might train for Ron Scott, Deputy Chair Bay of next month’s Tauranga Plenty District Health Board marathon or Whakatāne’s annual Toi’s challenge in November. Or your personal goal might be simply to keep up with the kids, climb the stairs without puffing or continue to be able to tie your own shoe laces. Whatever your goal, enjoy our Spring weather. Get outside and take some deep breaths. And you might surprise yourself as we did by finding that you can walk 50 km in a day! He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata! What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people! Arohanui Deputy Chair, Ron Scott PLEASE RETURN any loaned hospital equipment to Tauranga Hospital’s main reception. Thank you.