Nursing staff at a hospital in Wales are to start showing animated videos to orthopaedics patients to help them decide whether to go ahead with knee or hip replacement surgery.
A surgical team at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend will pilot the initiative, called Consent Plus, with 100 patients from September.
“There will be no pass or fail, it’s just to make sure they understand”
Patients will be shown short animated videos to explain the surgical procedures and associated risks, as well as any alternative options.
Clinical staff will then ask patients questions to make sure they understand what is involved before they decide whether to have the operation.
An initial two videos have been produced and the rest will be commissioned once the pilot has been assessed, said Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.
The idea followed feedback that many patients did not remember or fully understand the risk of complications before having surgery, said the orthopaedic surgeons behind the initiative.
They said a subsequent legal case in Scotland reinforced the need for doctors to document and demonstrate patient understanding of risks, implications and options surrounding treatment.
Consent Plus was designed to provide patients with knowledge, and to “facilitate learning and open discussion about risk”, but not to replace the current consent process, they added.
The project is being led by two surgeons and surgical care practitioner Nicola Bayliss, with support from orthopaedic nurse practitioner Sara Williams and surgical care practitioner Gaynor Jones.
Consultant surgeon Mr Amit Chandratreya, one of those behind the idea, said: “There will be no pass or fail, it’s just to make sure they understand. So it’s a safety checkpoint for the patients.
“We will use the feedback from the patients, from families, and from staff to help design further videos so that we have 12 in all, in Welsh and English,” he said.
“When the project is finalised next year hopefully we will have a website where they can also watch these videos at home, along with their family members,” he added.
The project is being funded by a £75,000 grant from the Health Foundation.
It forms part of a £1.5m innovation programme run by the healthcare charity. The programme, called Innovating for Improvement, is supporting 20 healthcare projects in the UK.