In the news
The BOA represents the profession both through the media and with key stakeholders to influence policy and highlight the issues that that are important for trauma and orthopaedics, such as delays to orthopaedic surgery and its effects on patients and trainees. Below are a few examples of where we have been quoted in the press.
We have also responded to 11 consultations during the last year, which we hope will go some way to making an impact on policy changes. You can view these on our Policy and Position Statements page.
8 November 2018
The BOA was part of a group of health bodies that wrote a letter to health secretary Matt Hancock asking the government to make it a priority to reduce waiting times for elective surgery. The letter was reported in the BMJ, Onmedica and Public Finance.
13 August 2018
The Daily Mail reported that patients are turning to private surgery for hip and eye surgery
Paul Dixon, of the British Orthopaedic Association, said: "The importance of early surgery for patients who have suffered a fracture of the hip has long been recognised… indeed, both NICE guidelines and British Orthopaedic Association Standards for Trauma have recommended surgery on the day of, or day after, injury for several years."
Dr Dixon added that there was little doubt that ‘pressures faced by the NHS’ had contributed to the increase in delays.
27 July 2018
The Daily Telegraph and Health Service Journal reported on an investigation which showed Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Sussex have proposed that patients to endure ‘intense and persistent’ pain before being recommended for surgery.
Ananda Nanu, president of the British Orthopaedic Association, said: “While the policy that Sussex CCGs are looking to implement does not contravene NICE guidelines, the BOA takes the view that the restrictions are not putting patients’ needs and well being as the priority.
“The BOA is also concerned that opiates are being championed for the management of a chronic condition such as arthritis where the treatment and solution is clearly surgical. These are strong, highly addictive controlled drugs that are intended for acute pain of short duration. The evidence shows that patients using opiate pain killers prior to total hip replacement have higher complication rates afterwards.
“It would be irresponsible to follow recommendations that will leave vulnerable people with an additional lifelong dependence on controlled medication, when there is no indication to prescribe opiates for a chronic condition that is so readily amenable to a tried and tested surgical remedy. All the current recommendations will do is postpone inevitable surgery at the expense of a possible dependence problem.”
18 July 2018
Ananda Nanu, president of the British Orthopaedic Association, said, “My concern is that we have elderly, very vulnerable people who are being affected.”
The BMJ article also highlighted the negative impact this was having on Trainees:
The British Orthopaedic Association’s president, Ananda Nanu, said that half of training directors at a recent meeting he attended said that they had had to move a trainee, consider moving them, or extend their training period because of the lack of training opportunities.
“It’s a huge problem,” he said. “In certain areas of the country there has been a complete moratorium on hip and knee surgery for several months.”
February 13 2018
The Times reported that the Elderly are waiting longer for hip fracture operations.
Paul Dixon, chairman of the British Orthopaedic Association trauma group, said that the NHS was facing a 'potential epidemic' in fractures among the elderly, with hips the biggest area. Hip fractures had become a much higher priority, he said, but there were not enough national resources to “get patients through in the time that we would like”.
January 17 2018
The Scottish Times reported that six-month delays for routine hip surgery were now routine.
Hamish Simpson, an expert in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Edinburgh and member of the council of the British Orthopaedic Association, said that people on the waiting lists would be in significant pain because patients with milder symptoms were not referred for surgery.
“There is sometimes an impression that some of these procedures are non-essential,” he said. “They are so life-changing for the patient that anyone who actually ever had severe arthritis in the hip or knee would be able to tell you, they definitely are essential.”