NHS Scotland makes major improvements in hip and knee surgery despite massive increase in demand

The demand for primary knee or hip replacements in Scotland has almost doubled, from 7 562 in 2001 to 15 091 in 2018. Despite this, overall length of stay has fallen by nearly 50%.

More important, kidney failure, an important complication associated with surgery has fallen from 2.3% in 2016 to only 1.5% in 2018.

These are major improvements worthy on media coverage.


7 thoughts on “NHS Scotland makes major improvements in hip and knee surgery despite massive increase in demand

  1. Bugger le Panda August 13, 2019 / 5:07 pm

    If it were possible, I would love to see how NHSS compares with US insurance funded health services.

    The average cost per annum I believe to be about $9,000 per annum, depending on historical conditions and drug costs which can be 4 or 5 times those in Europe or Canada.

    I think $™per £ per € we get one of the best in the World.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alasdair Macdonald August 13, 2019 / 5:50 pm

    The increase in demand for knee and hip surgery is closely related to the increasing longevity (the resent stasis in life expectancy notwithstanding). I know quite a number of my contemporaries who have now had the benefit of such interventions and are all very satisfied with the outcomes. They have all preferred to be back home as soon as possible to recuperate and to be outpatients, usually at local health centres, for physio. It did a lot for morale to be at home with family, friends and neighbours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Legerwood August 13, 2019 / 7:44 pm

      Another factor behind the increase, and likely to be an increasing and continuing factor, is obesity. Look around at the number of obese people, note how many are using a walking stick while still relatively young – 40s, 50s, 60s – and you can see that they are already on their way to being candidates for knee surgery in the not to distant future because of the damage caused to their knees, and hips, from carrying all that excess weight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alasdair Macdonald August 13, 2019 / 8:10 pm


        What you say is correct. There are a number of factors which contribute to obesity and I think that the food industry must bear a lot of blame.

        A lot of people in my age group (over 70) have bought into ‘the responsibility for one’s own health’ and are following good diets and participating in exercise. Our Tuesday yoga class for the over 60s is specifically about maintaining the mobility of our joints (we gave up smoking the other kind, when the 60s ended!)
        One of my neighbours recently celebrated her 75th birthday by swimming 75 lengths in the pool. She could have done 100, but her grandchildren were complaining about feeling cold because she was not playing with them! Another who recently had hip replacement has been waiting impatiently to resume cycling. Her hip replacement was required because she has lived a very strenuous life – e.g swimming from Largs to Millport and back, as well as running and cycling.

        Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 August 14, 2019 / 3:06 pm

        Right! You’ve injected a bit of discipline in my ‘diet’.


  3. Rod Towers August 14, 2019 / 7:22 am

    My wife’s experience of a hip replacement is as follows: despite a delay in getting referred, GP not sending letter as we thought he had agreed, which lost 12 weeks. After that, consultant appointment in five weeks and surgery in twelve weeks. The op was at the Golden Jubilee at Clydebank, hotel stay night before so she could be there at seven, if necessary accommodation for me as a carer would have been provided.

    The Golden Jubilee is a national resource to reduce waiting lists and has no A&E facility, so operation cancellations will not be due to demand surges. The staff are all expert at what they do leading to a international class of treatment. Eight weeks on she is well on the way to complete recovery and is better shape than for some years.

    I know that for patients from further afield i.e. Shetland, extra nights at the attached hotel are given to allow for flight availability. We reside in the west of Edinburgh and a 40min drive to Clydebank does not take much longer than going round the Edinburgh bypass.

    We are well pleased with the standard of care and would encourage anyone else to make this their first choice.

    Liked by 2 people

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