Hip operation a ‘stitch in time’ for crafter Sue

First ever stay in hospital a “great experience”.Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre - Success Stories - Sue Allen

When retired marketing manager Sue Allen, 68, from Tamerton near Plymouth found out she needed a hip replacement she was determined that she would receive her operation at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre – and her new hip means that she can take her enterprise, By SusieA Handmade in Devon (hand sewn gifts), to craft fairs with greater confidence and without pain.

Her stay as a patient at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre was the first time that she had been to hospital and the first time that she had had an operation.

Sue started to notice pain about three years ago when she and her husband Mike lived in Exeter.

“I thought it was my back, and as my husband Mike had had back problems and received excellent treatment from an osteopath I gave that a go,” said Sue. “But before long the osteopath said there was nothing more he could do for me. That’s when I went to see my GP.”

She had an x-ray at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital which simply showed “normal wear and tear”. She was referred for physiotherapy but the problems continued.

Then, just over a year ago, Sue and Mike moved back to Plymouth. Both had been raised there and they had lived in the city previously. Sue signed up with a new GP who after a few months sent her to Derriford for another x-ray.

“This time it showed arthritis and it was decided that I needed a new hip. In a way I was relieved – I could not put one foot in front of the other because of the pain, and I was having to choose walking routes carefully to avoid steps and high kerbs. Part of the reason we moved back to Plymouth was so we could visit our old haunts, and I found it harder and harder to get around.”

Sue had heard great things about Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre and wanted her operation there. Her GP helped her to manage her blood pressure before coming in to the hospital for a pre-assessment.

“I was really impressed that I got to meet the team,” Sue said. “They were running a little behind in outpatients on the day but all of us who were delayed were offered free drinks, which was a lovely touch. I’d brought my sewing with me to keep me occupied, but when I got home I found I had left my vintage silver thimble behind. It’s not worth much but I’ve had it for years and it’s got great sentimental value, so when I went back into Peninsula a week later I asked at outpatients if it had been found. Chris opened his top drawer and there it was safe and sound. I thought, the care is going to be great here if they are the sort of organisation that keeps things safe like that.”

The hospital was able to fit Sue in for her operation so that she would be ready for her holiday booked for September, which meant that it was just over a month from her pre-assessment to coming into hospital for treatment.

Said Sue:

“The whole experience has been fantastic. Everything is explained to you and you have plenty of chances to ask questions. Every member of staff I met was friendly and helpful, and it is obvious that everyone works as a close team. I was nervous because this was the first time that I had been in hospital and the first time that I had had an operation, but nothing was too much trouble and the whole experience was immensely reassuring.”

Sue added:

“The staff all seemed very happy in their work and you felt that they really cared about you as an individual – you never feel like you’re just another patient. If anyone was worried about coming to Peninsula I’d say don’t be – you will be in excellent hands.”

It is still early days after Sue’s hip replacement but she is already noticing some differences. She is getting about without the pain of arthritis, no longer has a limp and is back to driving her Mini convertible. She is also getting back to attending craft fairs, which she says is a great boost to her confidence and something she can now do without apprehension.

“I’m walking straighter and feeling taller, but the thing which really brought it home was when a friend commented on how nice it was to see me without a look of pain on my face. Thank you Peninsula!”

Mark White, Interim Hospital Director at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, commented:

“We are delighted to hear that Sue had a good experience of care with us and we are very grateful to her for telling her story. Sue is one of a number of people who are choosing to have their treatment with us, and if you would like to join her then speak to your GP. We take patients with a wide range of other conditions, so if your GP thinks you need treatment ask them to refer you to us – we are part of your choice as an NHS patient.”

Hip replacement surgery is one of a range of treatments available at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre. If your GP agrees that you need treatment you can ask them to refer you to the hospital for treatment – it is part of your choice as an NHS patient.