PATIENTS at University Hospitals Dorset Trust can wait up to 21 months for routine hip replacement surgery, the trust revealed.

The longest wait time is currently 86 weeks for the surgery, missing NHS England’s target to ensure hospitals deliver treatment in a maximum time period of 18 weeks.

The NHS Constitution also includes a right for patients to receive elective surgery (including hip and knee replacements) within 18 weeks.

NHS data shows that across the country people had to wait an average of 25 additional weeks for hip replacement surgery due to the additional pressures caused by the pandemic.

John West, UHD’s manager for trauma and orthopaedics, said: “As with the rest of the NHS, our waiting times for routine surgery have been significantly impacted by Covid and we are working hard to manage our long waiting patients to ensure they have their surgery as soon as possible.

“We are accessing additional funding and working innovatively to improve our waiting lists and reduce the surgical backlog.

“Within orthopaedics this includes the building of a new operating theatre at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and our trust-wide outpatient assessment clinic which will be opening soon at Beales in Poole.

“Treating our longest waiting patients is our top priority both as a trust and a whole Dorset Integrated Care System.”