Aftercare Policy - Orthopaedics

Aftercare Policy - Orthopaedics

Please read the following information carefully, as it includes terms & conditions relating to your Aftercare policy which affect the cover that we offer. If you do not comply with the terms and processes mentioned in the General Terms and Conditions as well as this Aftercare Policy you may not be entitled to any such further care. If there is anything in this policy that you do not completely understand, please contact us on (+44 20 3411 9171) so we can clarify it.

In this document, by aftercare we mean:

  1. The care provided to you by the orthopaedics team during your rehabilitation,
  2. The care you provide to yourself to help you ensure the best possible recovery,
  3. How to proceed if you have complications.

Please be advised that your Medbelle Patient Care Adviser will support you throughout your aftercare by answering your questions, liaising with your orthopaedics team and arranging any appropriate appointments.

1 - Aftercare from your Orthopaedic Team

  • Directly after surgery, the orthopaedic team will support you to get up as quickly as possible. They will make sure that you are given appropriate medications (pain-killers, anti-inflammatories, others..) and advice on wound care.
  • If needed you will be referred to a physiotherapist to support with your rehabilitation out of hospital. The hospital team will provide you with walking aids if needed (crutches, walker or walking stick) along with any other medical equipment to support you in your recovery before discharge.
  • In the weeks and months after surgery, based on your Surgeon’s advice, you will be required to attend one or more post-surgery check-ups to make sure that everything is healing as expected.
  • Please remember that at any time, you will be able to call your Medbelle Patient Care Adviser (PCA) if you have any questions. And, of course, if needed, your PCA can request additional appointments for you to see your Surgeon.

2 - At Home Care

You play an important role in your own aftercare. Your Orthopaedic/Hospital Medical Care team will provide guidance on what you need to do to support your recovery. In the early days this may include:

  • Caring for your incision site: It is important to keep your wound clean and dry. Your surgeon will advise when it is safe to start showering and bathing again.
  • Limiting Physical activity: Please follow your Surgeon's instructions very carefully. Avoid performing any strenuous activities or driving until your surgeon tells you it is safe to do so.
  • Following steps to reduce swelling: Your surgeon may also inform you of steps to reduce swelling, such as using a cold compress.
  • Use of medical equipment: Be sure to use any medical equipment that has been recommended by the orthopaedics team, such as splints or slings, to support your limb while it heals.
  • Following the Physiotherapist’s instructions: It is important to do the exercises that have been recommended by your physiotherapist as these can prevent stiffness and help to build muscle strength and restore flexibility.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Diet: It is extremely important to maintain a healthy diet and to stay well-hydrated, this is important at any time but particularly after surgery. You should avoid smoking as this may slow your healing and increase the risk of infection.

If at any point you feel that you are not recovering as well as you should, it is important to talk to your PCA who will coordinate with your orthopaedics/medical care team. If you experience a high temperature, worsening pain, numbness, redness around the incision site or unpleasant-smelling discharge it is important to seek immediate medical help.

3 - Complications and Risks

Medbelle, the Hospital and your Surgeon will endeavour to ensure your procedure is completed to the highest standard. However the results of any Surgery cannot be guaranteed with complete certainty.

  • 3.1 - During your initial consultation, your Surgeon/Clinician will explain all risks and complications associated with your procedure. You must make sure you acknowledge, understand and accept all associated risks before consenting to having your surgery. No question is a silly question, so if you are unsure please ask.
  • 3.2 - Occasionally unanticipated medical complications arise following, and as a result of, the Procedure (referred to as a ‘postoperative complication’). Sometimes these may require a return to theatre.

4 - General Terms for the cover of Complications

All recommendations for the provision of your care as outlined in these terms will come from the surgeon, including whether the care can be safely managed within the private sector or the NHS.

Cover will be applied as below:

  • Part A : NON-INSURED PATIENTS
    (This section will apply if you are paying for your own care - including Medbelle Care Programme patients - and after we offer you a fixed price.)
    • 4.1 - If your surgeon confirms you have suffered a directly related Postoperative Complication as a result of your procedure within 6 months of your original treatment date, the costs arising due to such readmissions will be covered provided that you have followed the instructions of your Surgeon and our Aftercare policy. Such complications shall be treated within a maximum of 12 months from your original surgery and as advised by your surgeon.
    • 4.2 - If a Surgery is deemed necessary as a result of a complication by your Surgeon and approved to be covered by Medbelle, Medbelle will cover the cost of one episode of care only. If after this surgery you wish to pursue additional treatments/procedures, this will not be covered by Medbelle.
    • 4.3 - The decision as to whether a complication is related to the procedure rests with your Surgeon.
    • 4.4 - In cases where the results of the Procedure originally provided have, in the opinion of the Surgeon, been compromised due to the patient's non-adherence to the postoperative guidelines, instructions, recommendations or advice regarding Postoperative Appointments or care and lifestyle, Medbelle cannot commit to providing Corrective/Revision Procedure at special, reduced or nil rates.
    • 4.5 - Occasionally other consultants will be needed to manage complications and these will be covered under this policy.
    • 4.6 - Medbelle will not cover any complications or additional surgeries arising as a result of :
      • External factors/accidents not related directly to the treatment.
      • A medical condition that is not associated with your treatment.
      • A medical condition that arises from personal injuries or accidents e.g. falling; sports injury.
    • 4.7 - Medbelle shall not provide replacement prosthesis required for reasons of normal wear and tear or any non-medical, at home, or other long-term care that may be required.
    • 4.8 - Where we are unable to manage your clinical complications, we will make the most appropriate alternative arrangements to provide the right care for you which may include the NHS.
    • 4.9 - If you have further treatment independent of Medbelle, without prior Medbelle approval, then this Aftercare policy does not apply and neither Medbelle nor the Surgeon will be responsible for any clinical outcome or cost incurred.
    • 4.10 - If further treatments were done by another surgeon, who you were not referred to by Medbelle and you are unhappy with the outcome, Medbelle will not be responsible for any related costs.
    • 4.11 - Medbelle will not cover the costs of care when prostheses are found to be defective as liability will fall to the implant manufacturer.
    • 4.12 - Failure to follow the instructions is deemed as non-compliance with the Terms in place between us and you and our Aftercare Policy and any costs incurred for further surgery, treatment or Hospital readmission as a result of this will not be covered by Medbelle, the surgeon, or the hospital.
    • 4.13 - Where a complication occurs and a return to hospital is required, you agree that no expenses in relation to travel, accommodation, or time off work will be recoverable from us for you, or a chaperone, family member, or any other person. This includes (but is not limited to) circumstances where you or the Surgeon have relocated.
  • Part B: INSURED PATIENTS
    (This section will apply if you are covered by Private Medical Insurance)
    • 4.14 - If a directly related Postoperative Complication occurs as a result of your procedure, the costs arising due to such readmissions will likely be covered by your PMI. You will need to liaise with your PMI to ensure coverage. Medbelle can provide support in liaising with your insurer if requested.
    • 4.15 - Treatment for complications may in some cases not be covered by your insurer and in such cases; you agree to cover the cost of your care.
    • 4.16 - Please note that your PMI policy may not cover certain admissions or certain items such as crutches or wrist braces, or it may only cover part of such costs. You will be required to pay for any variances and/or such items/admissions not reimbursed by your insurer.
    • 4.17 - If you require further surgery or admissions that are not directly related to a Postoperative Complication, you will need to liaise with your PMI to understand if it will be covered before committing to surgery.

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