Choosing A Hospital

Finding the Right Hospital For Your Hip Replacement

Guy's Hospital

What matters to you when choosing a hospital?  The majority of hip replacement patients in the UK aren't aware that they can chose the hospital they have hip surgery in.  In some cases this choice can include being offered NHS treatment in a private hospital. 

For the majority of us, being treated close to home, is a priority.  It allows us to travel for appointments both pre- and post-surgery and for friends and family to visit, whilst we are an in-patient.  But there are other considerations that you might want to think about.

For instance: -

  • Length of time on waiting list - this varies dramatically between hospitals.  How long are you prepared to wait for your operation?  If time is important than this must be a priority for you.
  • Distance - as we discussed above.  How far would you be willing to travel to be treated in a particular hospital? Bear in mind that this will involve a number of pre- and post-op appointments and extra travel time for your visitors
  • MRSA infection rate - this varies between hospitals.  It is a concern for all patients, but is it your priority?  Would it affect your choice of hospital?
  • Wound infection rate - this is a serious consideration for hip replacement as infection in the new hip is serious and could involve revision surgery (having your new hip taken out and replaced)
  • Re-admission rate - this is often seen as a rough guide to how well a hospital is performing.  Hospitals with a high re-admission rate should be avoided.
  • Whether the hospital runs the Enhanced Recovery Programme (or something similar if you are not UK based).  This focuses on getting you through surgery and rehab as quickly and safely as possible

Choosing a Hospital

So now you've decided on your priorities you can start to look at the options - they are: -

  • NHS Treatment: - Since April 2009 all NHS patients have been able to chose the hospital in which they will receive treatment. It could be anywhere in the country and the choice may include some independent hospitals.
  • Private Hospitals in the UK: - With health insurance, or a long bank roll, you may prefer to go private. A shorter waiting list, better food but not necessarily better treatment. Finding information to make a valid comparison of private hospitals is a bit more difficult and your choice may be limited by your choice of health insurer.
  • Treatment Abroad: The final choice is to go abroad where prices are substantially lower. India, for instance, offers some top class surgeons at very reasonable rates but there are other good alternatives within Europe.  However we do not recommend travelling abroad for surgery during this time.