Examination of Witnesses (Questions 900
THURSDAY 6 DECEMBER 2001
900. Can I just ask, will it not be more difficult
for the NHS in terms of follow up
(Mr Huntley) No.
901.where patients have been treated
(Mr Huntley) The issue is about ensuring that we deliver
complete packages of care. Therefore, we have to look at it from
pre-op all the way through post-op through to follow up through
rehabilitation to ensure we deliver a service or to ensure that
the service which is purchased on behalf of the patient delivers
the full care that is required for that patient. The reference
costs are difficult to compare because if one takes a hip and
knee replacement, for example, that hip and knee replacement includes
pre-op, the operation, the post-op and rehabilitation. The current
reference prices we have had for individual treatmentsand
we have not gone into bulk purchase yetin terms of individual
treatments, the reference prices compare favourably with the average
private sector price for a single operation, that would include
travel and it would include full rehabilitation. In terms of NHS
reference prices, they are slightly higher but there are some
additional costs to add on to the European costs.
902. You raised the question of travel costs,
I was going to mention that as part of the package. Presumably
your package there is one where the follow up is short and immediate.
Surely many conditions require a continued follow up, not just
a question of a couple of days rehab and out?
(Mr Huntley) No, if we are talking hips and knees,
the general practice within Europe is that the patients are operated
upon, they do an acute phase of rehabilitation within the hospital
of between eight and 12 days, depending on the procedure. Then
they go between 14 and 28 days to a rehabilitation centre for
up to three or four hours of intensive physio daily, one to one,
so they are fit to go home and they require no additional follow
up after that period of time.
903. How many hips, for example, do require
further invention after a short while and do they go back to Dusseldorf?
(Mr Huntley) I am not a medical man and therefore
I cannot answer that question.
Chairman: Are there any more general points
on this part of the morning's session? If not, can I thank you
for your co-operation, gentlemen. We are most grateful for your