NHS patient travels 800 miles to get new hips

Pamela Stanton travelled by camper van to have hip replacement surgery in Barlborough.Pamela Stanton travelled by camper van to have hip replacement surgery in Barlborough.
Pamela Stanton travelled by camper van to have hip replacement surgery in Barlborough.
A woman in excruciating pain travelled 800 miles to get new hips after discovering that the waiting time for surgery on the NHS was shorter in Derbyshire than on the Isle of Wight where she lives.

Prior to the operations, Pam Stanton had to walk with two sticks and was unable to do the things she loved like gardening and swimming.

She was told it would be up to a year before she could have an operation on the Isle of Wight.

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Her cousin in Derbyshire told her to look at the Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre. Pam said: “My GP wrote a referral to the centre and within days I heard back. Three months after my referral I was having the operation. It was incredible.”

The joint replacement procedure on her right hip was carried out under local anaesthetic. Pam said: “I and another lady were terrified. Then a lady who was with us laughed. She was 90 – she’d had a hip already done at the centre and was having her knee replaced, all by the same method. She reassured us there was nothing to worry about. She was right - it was simple and there were no after effects, as there can be from a general anaesthetic.”

Pam and her husband Mike travelled 220 miles from Totland Bay to Derbyshire in their camper van. She said: “We used it as a mini holiday, catching up with family the week before the operation.”

She spent two days in the treatment centre after surgery before being discharged.

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Pam recovered well from surgery, but was still in pain from the degeneration in her left hip, and had to rely on crutches from the treatment centre to move around.

As soon as possible she was back at the centre for her second hip replacement. Pam said: “I had no concern. Everyone was so kind and professional, and I knew that this time I would be completely pain-free.”

By the time of her check-up, lockdown was in place and Pam had to fulfil the appointment by phone. She said: “I had very little to report but good news. I am sleeping again pain-free and, thanks to my new hips and the lockdown, my garden has never looked better. My husband and I are looking forward to swimming in the local bay.

“I will soon need carpal tunnel surgery and I think we will incorporate that into one of our little Barlborough holidays!”