The current orthopaedic surgery service provides a high quality level of care to its patients. However, as with other areas of elective surgery in Northern Ireland, the service is struggling to keep up with demand, resulting in increasingly long waits for patients to be treated. Waiting times for orthopaedics surgery are the worst in the UK, with patients often waiting excessive amounts of time (up to 5 years) for surgery such as hip/ knee replacements.  There is also considerable variation in practice regionally, which means that patients in some Trust areas are subject to much longer waiting lists that patients in others. A new approach is needed to ensure that patients can access high quality services when they need them, whilst maintaining the same high standards of quality as the current service, to ensure that the Health and Social Care (HSC) sector can continue to provide sustainable services throughout Northern Ireland.

The Regional Review of Orthopaedics therefore seeks to: introduce a new, streamlined end-to-end pathway for Orthopaedic surgery; ensure a reduction in regional variation in clinical practice; and standardise processes so that patients have timely access to the same quality of care, regardless of postcode.

Recruitment has opened for service users/ carers to participate in a reference group to provide insight into patient and carer perspective on elective orthopaedic services in NI, and share their views to inform the development of plans and pathways, based on their experience of using the service.

What’s involved?

It is expected that service users/ carers within the programme of work:

  • Have experience of using elective orthopaedics services or being on a waiting list for elective orthopaedics services.
  • Have been advised by a medical professional that you may need to use elective orthopaedics services;
  • Will attend online meetings and events, take part in discussions to help inform the development of proposals, and provide feedback on proposals;
  • Will help to shape the plans for wider stakeholder involvement and co-production to ensure all key stakeholder groups are engaged with throughout the review; and
  • Are domiciled in Northern Ireland
What support will service users/ carers receive?
  • Mentoring and coaching via the Patient and Client Council, and the Programme Involvement Team
  • Summary information will be provided to help you understand the area of work
  • Contact with decision makers in this area


Applications have now closed. Should you wish to discuss this work further, please contact info.pcc@pcc-ni.net