A man has shared his delight after returning home from hospital sooner than expected as part of a new scheme after having a full hip replacement. 

Graham Marsh, 75, from Farnworth, had the operation in January and was back at home with his wife of nearly 40 years Julie the next evening.

The 75-year-old is among those to have enjoyed being able to return home sooner thanks to a new "game-changing" initiative at the Royal Bolton Hospital to drastically reduce the number of days patients at the site following knee or hip replacements.

Graham said: “I was very happy to be home. The morning of the operation they said if all goes well I may be back home by tomorrow.

“I was made to feel very relaxed, and I can’t speak highly enough of the personal support I had from my surgeon.”

Once home, Graham continued to receive regular support and advice from a physiotherapist to ensure he had the best possible recovery.

He said: “My physio was very informative and talked me through what I had to do – no cheating of course.

“It’s easy when something hurts to give it a miss. I was determined to do whatever they said as they are the brains of the operation.

“Being home helped with my recovery. I can do things in my own time, in my own space.

“If I wanted to go and have a lie down, I could. I could speak to people on the phone, I have a good home life.

 “Before the operation, the pain was pretty bad. I could never get comfortable in bed.

“We’ve got a dog which we have always walked whatever the weather, but my hip played up to a point where I couldn’t do the regular walk to Farnworth anymore.

“It got to a point where, even lying down, I was struggling with. All of the things we take for granted.

“Now I’m on a two-hour walk with our dog. We go over to Haigh Hall near Wigan, it’s a bit hilly but I cope with it.

“The surgery has transformed my life. I’m no longer apprehensive about whether I can manage to do things. When I’m in bed I can turn over nice and bonny.

“Looking back, I was living with the discomfort and pain, and it became a way of life. Now I’m pleased I can enjoy the small things again.”

The Bolton News: Graham Marsh and his wife JulieGraham Marsh and his wife Julie (Image: Bolton NHS Foundation Trust)Read more top stories here:

The new scheme comes after a review on the care patients receive, both before and after surgery, identified areas where changes could be made to support patients back to the comfort of their home.

This included:

  • Pain management after the operation.
  • Introducing physiotherapy on the day of operation.
  • Implementing and adapting processes used by specialist surgery centres.

Figures from Bolton NHS Foundation Trust reveal the average length of stay has seen a drastic reduction, halving from three to four days in 2022 to one day in January 2024.

February also saw Bolton’s first-ever same-day discharge for a hip replacement.

The initiative is unlocking bed and theatre capacity to help tackle unprecedented backlogs and waiting lists.

Dominic Marley, consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at the trust, said: “We know that for many of our patients being able to return to the comfort of the place they call home is best for their recovery after surgery.

“In some cases, we’re even able to discharge the patient just hours after their operation by making sure they have all the information, medication and physiotherapy techniques they need, with regular check-ins over the phone to make sure they are comfortable and happy.”

James Childs, consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at the trust, added: “Through a holistic care approach and engaging with physiotherapy on the day of the operation we’ve been able to reduce pain levels for our patients.

“Patients are offered reassurance every step of the way and we’re empowering them with the information they need so they know what to expect, understand how to manage their recovery, while being able to experience quality time in the comfort of they place they call home.”

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on X @chloewjourno.