A new approach to caring for patients
To find out more:
01293 778 906

What is Enhanced Recovery?

Spire Gatwick Park Hospital
Serving patients in Surrey, Sussex and South London

The patient journey

  • Below you will find useful information about your treatment at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital under the Enhanced Recovery Programme.

    Once your operation date has been confirmed you will be asked to attend a “Joint School”, you and a relative or carer will be able to learn about your surgery and the rehabilitation programme.  You will then be able to practise some activities at home before coming into hospital.  At the joint school, you will be issued with walking sticks or crutches.

    We will advise you how to prepare for your stay in hospital, and we will support and guide you through your recovery.  After your operation we will continue to see you as an out-patient but when you’re at home it is important that you take full responsibility for your recovery by following the instructions given by your physiotherapist.

    The information you are given will enhance your understanding of the programme and ensure you play an active role in achieving the best result possible.

    How you can help yourself before you come in for surgery.

    If you optimise your health in the weeks before your operation you are much more likely to recover quickly and have fewer complications.

    Eat healthily, and try to avoid putting on weight.  You will be told the time from which you must starve before you have your operation. You should eat normally until that time. Try to eat a high fibre diet and drink plenty of fluids to help prevent constipation.

    • Stop smoking – we can help you do that
    • Take regular walks if possible
    • Practise the exercises we teach you at joint school every day
    • Practise using your sticks every day
    • Practise the method of climbing stairs you are taught at joint school
    • Prepare your home for when you return
    • Arrange for someone to take you home and for someone to stay for a few days when you get home. Your stay at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital will be between two and five nights
    • Arrange to be off work for six to 12 weeks depending on the type of work you do – we will can help advise you what is sensible
    • Read this information pack thoroughly in conjunction with your admissions booklet
    Joint School
  • You will be asked to attend a pre-admission clinic about two weeks prior to your surgery.
    At this appointment we will check that you are fit for an anaesthetic and your operation, and plan your discharge from the hospital.

    The following tests and investigations will be carried out:

    Routine observations such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature, breathing rate, height and weight

    • A full medical history will be taken
    • A physical examination, particularly of your heart and lungs
    • A urine test
    • A tracing of your heart known as an electro cardiogram (ECG)
    • Blood tests
    • You may have an x-ray of your hip/knee and chest
    • Swabs  for MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) – a drug resistant bacteria
    • You will be measured for special below knee stockings which reduce the risk of getting a clot in the leg
    • A physiotherapist and pharmacist will complete an assessment
    Pre-admission clinic
  • On the ward

    You will be admitted by a nurse.  Your consultant will visit; he will talk to you again about your operation and ask you to sign a consent-for-surgery form.  Your leg will be marked with an arrow using a black marker pen. You will also be seen by your anaesthetist to discuss your anaesthetic and your medication. You will be visited by your physiotherapist and shown how to move after the operation.  You will have the opportunity to ask questions at any time.

    Going to theatre 

    You will walk with a nurse from your room to the theatre suite, or be taken in a wheelchair if you find walking difficult.

    In Recovery

    You will be encouraged to start moving your feet, ankles, hip, and knee.
    If you have had a knee replacement your knee will be wrapped in a blue cuff; this will be attached to a flask filled with iced water which will circulate around the knee to help reduce the formation of swelling.

    Our wards and theatre
  • Back on the ward – Day 0

    We will measure your blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, temperature and oxygen levels. We will ask you if you are in any pain or feeling sick.

    There may be a fine drainage tube coming from the operation site, this will be checked along with  your wound.  You will have oxygen through a face mask and then this will be changed to nasal oxygen where two fine tubes sit at the base of the nostrils to deliver oxygen.

    You will be fitted with special stockings and attached to compression pumps - these wrap around your calves or feet to help prevent blood clots. These pumps regularly inflate and deflate gently squeezing the calves or foot.

    If you have had knee surgery you will have an ice cuff wrapped around the knee. Iced water circulates within the cuff to cool the knee which reduces the formation of swelling and pain.
    Following hip surgery you will have a rolled towel placed between your legs to remind you not to cross them.  It is important that you do not cross your legs for six weeks.

    You will be encouraged to start drinking, eating, and moving as soon as it is safe to do so. This is usually about an hour or so after your operation.

    Nurses will help you when you need to pass urine - initially you will need to use a bed pan or bottle, later it may be possible to get up depending on the operation you have had.

    Day 1

    We do a ward round every day at 8.30; this includes the nurse, resident doctor, physiotherapist and pharmacist. Please let us know how you feel and if you have any concerns.

    Nurses will assist you with washing and dressing. You will have physiotherapy in the morning and afternoon to gradually progress your exercises and mobilisation, and encourage you to be independent. You will sit out for all meals, and begin to use the toilet rather than bedpans or bottles.

    You will have a blood test, and an x-ray may be taken depending on the procedure performed.    

    Day 2

    You will be able to wash in the bathroom, maybe have a shower. Your physiotherapy programme will continue, starting to use your walking sticks, standing exercises, and practising stairs. You may be ready to go home later in the afternoon. 

    Day 3

    You will be helped to shower. Your wound dressing will be changed. You will continue with your physiotherapy, and hopefully go home later that day.

    Your recovery
  • You will be allowed to go home when you have good movement in your new joint, you are walking well, safe on stairs, independent with your daily needs, and have signs of wound healing. A pharmacist will visit to discuss and supply your medication at home. You will be supervised into your car.

    You will have been booked to stay at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital for between two and five nights. Discussions about your discharge will start before you come in! The multidisciplinary team will make a decision with you to confirm your discharge day. The time of discharge may vary according to your progress, we aim for you to go home by 09.30 although we may need you to stay later for further treatment.

    Your wound will have been closed with clips or glue. If you have clips these will need to be removed between 10 and 14 days after the operation. You will be given an appointment to see a nurse in our out-patient department or you will be advised to contact your GP surgery to book a nurse appointment. You will be given a clip remover to take with you for the nurse to use.

    All patients will see a physiotherapist 10 to 14 days following surgery; if you have your clips removed at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital your physiotherapy appointment will directly follow your nurse appointment. Subsequent physiotherapy will be arranged for you, usually at four and six weeks after your operation.

    An appointment will be arranged for you to be seen by your consultant at about 6 weeks; you will also have an x-ray at this stage.

    We also run hip and knee classes; these commence after six weeks usually for a further four weeks. Patients who have their operation paid for by the NHS will have all their follow-up care in the local NHS trust.

    Hydrotherapy may be recommended as an additional treatment, we will talk to you about this if we think it would be helpful.


    The times below are a guide, the exact amount of time you should avoid driving can vary and your physiotherapist will confirm this with you.

    Four weeks  (Left knee)


    Small incision
    Standard incision 


    Three to four weeks
    Six weeks


    Three to four weeks  (Left Hip)
    Four weeks (Left Hip)

    Going home

What to bring into hospital with you

In addition to the list in your admissions booklet would you also bring in to hospital:

  • Walking aids – your own or those given to you at joint school.
  • This information pack  and your exercise programme
  • Flat shoes, preferably slip-ons with backs
  • Comfortable day clothes – shorts, skirts or dresses. Preferably not trousers.
  • Small packs of ready-to-eat apricots, prunes or figs to avoid constipation


  • Pre Admission nurse - 01293 778941
  • Nurses - 01293 785511  Extension 2300
  • Physiotherapist – 01293 778951
  • Pharmacist – 01293 778955

Call Spire Gatwick Park Hospital today on 01293 778 906 and speak to our self-pay treatment enquiry adviser, if insured please call our out-patients booking department on 01293 778 919.

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)