Clinicians walking through waiting room

New outpatient hub to slash waiting times in Northumberland

NHS patients in Northumberland are set to benefit from improved waiting times and an enhanced patient experience as Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust opens its new outpatient hub.

The trust has taken charge of the previously vacant top floor of the Morpeth NHS Centre, expanding its outpatient provision and further bolstering its overall output.

The trust say the space has been transformed into a modern, bespoke facility that will initially be used for orthopaedics and plastics, whilst also operating in conjunction with the facilities downstairs.

Northumbria Healthcare’s orthopaedic team carry out more than 3,000 hip and knee replacements each year – before they can go through with the surgery though, patients need to have a pre-assessment as well as physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

At the moment, this requires patients to make several trips to and from hospital, but with the new arthroplasty clinic, patients will be able to do all the preparation needed before their surgery in just one appointment, saving clinicians time, slashing waiting times and delays, as well as boosting the patient experience.

Patients will also benefit from more streamlined skin cancer treatment pathways thanks to the new plastics clinic, which will enable clinicians to perform a consultation or biopsy in just one appointment – also improving waiting times and patient experience.

Northumbria Healthcare consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Scott Muller, said: “We know that waiting times are a key part of the high-quality care that we always strive to deliver. By having this new one-stop facility for patients having joint replacements, we will be able to reduce the number of times they have to come in, meaning there is far less chance of their operations being delayed.

“In addition, the new facility is a modern and comfortable environment, which will hopefully mean an all-round improved experience for patients who come to us. The development of this facility in Morpeth also underlines our commitment to providing as much care as possible in communities across the wide area we cover.

“It will also help to reduce our environmental impact through patients having to travel to hospital fewer times and being seen closer to home.”

Outpatient nursing teams elected to name the new facility Morpeth View in reference to the site’s third-storey view across town.

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NHE May/June 2024

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