Planned care


This is Margaret. Margaret needs a knee replacement.

It isn’t an emergency, but Margaret is in constant discomfort and she can’t walk without support. Because of this her quality of life is suffering.

Margaret has been referred to a specialist orthopaedic centre by her GP and knows that she will receive her operation within 18 weeks.

The specialist centre understands her individual needs and, after discussing the options available, Margaret decides that she would like to receive joint replacement surgery to remove the cause of her pain. She attends an assessment to make sure she is fit for surgery, then goes to a class to learn how to prepare for surgery and how to aid recovery afterwards. An occupational therapist provides aids and advice to make recovery at home as easy as possible.

The hospital and local community services are working together to plan her discharge in advance, so Margaret and loved ones know she will receive support after leaving hospital. 

Margaret feels confident about experiencing the same quality of care as other patients, and that the surgery will improve her life.

Case for change

Planned care is non-emergency treatment that is planned in advance, such as an operation that is booked on a certain date. We want to ensure that everyone who goes into hospital has the same high quality of care.

This is mainly because:

  • patient experience varies, depending on where and when people access care
  • the time from first appointment, to diagnostic test, to getting results is not always as quick as it could be
  • patients do not always feel fully informed and prepared for their procedure in hospital
  • patient care is sometimes delayed because different IT systems are in use and paperwork or diagnostic tests are duplicated

Our vision

Making care more efficient and improving patient experience and outcomes.

Standardising some elements of care and getting staff and services to work more closely together in some areas.

Making better use of the diagnostic services and facilities available in south east London to speed up diagnosis, including rapid access to those who need more urgent tests.

Achieving improvements in orthopaedic care in south east London.