Patients and the public have been having their say on plans to improve orthopaedic services (such as hip and knee replacements) across north central London.

Currently, planned orthopaedic care is delivered from 10 different hospitals in the area, including the Royal Free London group. Evidence suggests that the quality of care and the outcomes patients experience could be improved if the services were provided from a smaller number of larger specialist centres. 

North London Partners (which brings together the five clinical commissioning groups, local authorities and health and care providers in the area) is reviewing the current arrangements. Earlier in the year they published a case for change, setting out ideas for how services could be improved. Since then they have been seeking feedback from patients and the public, staff and stakeholders. Clinicians from the Royal Free have taken part in a number of workshops to explore the ideas in more detail.

Many people have welcomed the proposal to create specialist orthopaedic elective centres. There have also been lots of views and comments about the practicalities, particularly around the impact on travel and transport and what it would mean for staff.

Local commissioners, who plan and fund the services for local people, are now considering the feedback. If they decide to continue exploring the idea, a more detailed plan will be developed and local people would be asked to give their feedback on these plans later in 2019.

For more information, the case for change and the feedback reports, visit