Hand centre brings experts together

Treatment:  Consultant Steve Bostock at the hand centre.
Treatment: Consultant Steve Bostock at the hand centre.
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THE SHEFFIELD Hand Centre opened at the Northern General Hospital in November 2010, in a bid to bring together specialist services to treat all injuries below the elbow.

The unit - one of only half a dozen integrated centres of its kind in the country - carries out around 100 operations a week on forearms, wrists, hands and fingers.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Stephen Bostock, who was instrumental in the formation of the centre, said its main strength lies in the combination of orthopaedic and plastic surgery experts in the same unit.

Mr Bostock said: “In some complex cases all six consultants we have here will meet with the patient - and sometimes we will bring in physiotherapists and psychologists as well.

“Before, if someone had a finger injury they would go to plastic surgery. If they had a wrist injury they would go to orthopaedics. But the two centres were completely separate.

“We have brought together what is already a serious amount of expertise in the same place.

“We are using cutting-edge techniques and there’s a lot of innovation going on.

“We want to be a beacon of excellence - we want to be ahead of the game.”

Plastic surgeon Gavin Miller, who operated on Gary Wainwright, said: “We are fortunate in Sheffield to have one of the few truly integrated hand units in the UK, providing all aspects of hand and wrist surgery, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychological therapy, coordinated within a purpose-built unit.

“I believe Gary’s good result is a testament to how well such ‘joined-up’ care can work when treating serious injuries in patients, like him, who are highly motivated to get a good recovery.”