A year in view: Greater Manchester Orthopaedic Alliance

Professor Phil Turner, Chair of the Greater Manchester Orthopaedic Alliance* (GMOA) and Clinical Chair of the Inflammation and Repair Domain, looks back at the alliance’s progress since its November 2016 conference.

“We called last year’s conference ‘Manchester Orthopaedics 2020’ because that is our intended timeframe for the implementation of our plans.

“One of our key aims is to expand academic research into orthopaedics and this was boosted, the month after the conference, when Professor Leela Biant joined The University of Manchester to establish the Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery.

“Since then we have seen an increasing number of trainees getting involved in setting up and participating in clinical trials and quality improvement projects across Greater Manchester. In addition, there is far more involvement in recruiting patients into NIHR trials. We hope to see a further expansion of the department through the appointment of two senior clinical lecturers in 2018.

“Another significant post-conference achievement was all the active partners in GMOA being designated National Orthopaedic Alliance (NOA) Vanguard status.

“The NOA vanguard – a very small number of trusts and networks leading cutting-edge orthopaedic service development – aims to improve the quality and consistency of orthopaedic care for patients and develop new ways of working, which will result in better quality and more cost-effective services. Through work to improve their own services, vanguard members are creating tools that other providers can use and setting quality standards for other providers.

“This is precisely what GMOA has been doing since our formation. One of our key tools, which David Johnson, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon from Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, took the lead on developing is a surgery dashboard that clearly demonstrates variation in process and outcomes. All our members now have access to the dashboard which enables us to monitor performance and, in turn, drives up standards.

“On the clinical side, over the last three years, we exceeded our target of reducing the number of patients having unnecessary arthroscopies. Our target was a 50% reduction but we have actually achieved an 85% reduction. This, of course, has saved NHS resources and over a thousand patients from invasive surgery, which would have been of little, if any, benefit.

“Next September I will take over as President of the British Orthopaedic Association. I intend to use the position to continue work to standardise and improve orthopaedic services nationally, reduce costs and enhance training and research opportunities.

“In Manchester I would like GMOA to maintain its solid progress and leverage its opportunities, such as the potential for more translational research through the development of the university’s Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery Department.”

* Formed in 2013, the alliance comprises: Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, East Cheshire NHS Trust, Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.

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