Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital offers TV during surgery

Orthopaedic patient Paul Eaton is one of an increasing number choosing to watch TV during surgery

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An increasing number of NHS hospitals around the UK are offering patients an opportunity to watch TV programmes or films while undergoing operations.

Hospitals in Glasgow and Peterborough were among the pioneers and the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital near Oswestry is also adopting a similar approach.

"I feel fine, I can't feel a thing and I'm watching Match of The Day."

That was the perspective of 57-year-old patient Paul Eaton during his hip replacement operation at the orthopaedic hospital, one of the UK's leading centres of excellence in its field.

Mr Eaton is one of an increasing number of orthopaedic patients at the hospital receiving a spinal, rather than general, anaesthetic and remaining conscious throughout surgery.

While consultant surgeon Richard Spencer Jones cut, sawed and hammered during the hour-long hip replacement, Mr Eaton watched football highlights on iPlayer, via the hospital's wi-fi network.

Recovery time

Listening to music or watching TV also helps patients relax during what is a naturally daunting time. It has been made possible thanks to advances in anaesthesia.

"From my point of view, it doesn't affect me one little bit during the procedure. I can get on and do my job without worrying," consultant anaesthetist Elis Hughes said.

"But from the patient's point of view, afterwards, it just means they get going a lot quicker."

Mr Eaton expects to be home in a couple of days.

"It was very straightforward. I can't believe how simple it was," he said.

The hospital's move away from general anaesthetic, where possible, not only tends to speed up initial recovery time, but also cuts instances of post-operative sickness, the hospital said.

Crucially, it also cuts the amount of time patients have to stay in hospital and frees up much-needed beds.

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