Leading Private Orthopaedic Hospital Providing Excellent Sports Medicine Services Across South Australia [Interview][Transcript]

Dr Nick Wallwork

Guest: Dr Nick Wallwork
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Dr Nick Wallwork is chairman of the SPORTSMED·SA Hospital & Orthopaedics Board of Directors. SPORTSMED·SA is an industry leading private orthopaedic hospital, surgery and multidisciplinary outpatient clinic with several locations across South Australia and Darwin. In his regular capacity, Dr Wallwork is an orthopaedic surgeon and upper limb and hand specialist with SPORTSMED·SA. Dr Wallwork is a member of the board of Directors, SPORTSMED·SA Hospital and Orthopeadics as well as the Australian Institute Company of Directors, 2012. He is also a visiting medical officer at Flinders Medical Centre, Repatriation General Hospital and Noarlunga Hospital.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, we are joined by Dr Nick Wallwork to talk about the wide array of services that they offer at SPORTSMED-SA. From the treatment and recovery of sporting injuries, arthritic conditions and joint replacements of the upper and lower limb, including feet and ankles, their world-renowned sports doctors and physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists, podiatrists, massage therapists, exercise physiologist and dietitians can help. They offer patients access to world-leading and modern health care in a state-of-the art facility – one of the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.


Health Professional Radio

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and today my guest is Dr. Nick Wallwork who is the chairman of SPORTSMED·SA Hospital and orthopaedic board of directors and an orthopaedic surgeon. So welcome to Health Professional Radio Nick.

Dr. Nick Wallwork: Thank you very much.

W: Nick give some idea about where you are and what geographical footprint you fit into and what it is that SPORTSMED does.

N: SPORTSMED is an orthopaedic service provider consists of a group of certain surgeons who are worked in a combine practice, which covers basic clinics, providing basic outpatient services and also as a … hospital. Our hospital is based in Adelaide in South Australia and has approximately 300 employees from five operating theatres throughout the week. We also have satellite branches, both in the suburban suburbs of Adelaide and also have presence help in Adelaide. And we provide research and educational opportunities to surgeons from all over the world.

W: Right. That in my mind I had a much more smaller operation. You know a 300 staff hospital is a big operation.

N: It is and part of the problem the reason you need so many staff is to run 24 hours of care.

W: Yeah.

N: So we run a hospital, obviously staffed throughout the time period and that involves a large number of people and personnel for our organization, as well as that running branches and clinics and outpatients, then it’s very quickly adds up to the number of location and people required to run the service.

W: Now SPORTSMED kind of suggests orthopedic associated with sporting and sporting injuries. Is it restricted that way or do you cover the full gambit of orthopedic work?

N: We cover the full gambit of orthopedic work. I mean obviously a large amount of the elective work relates to arthritis and degenerative conditions. So probably the majority of surgical work is actually related to more of a degenerative process in the older portion of the population. However the clinic was originally designed to provide excellence in sporting care and so catering for high level of sporting teams and the acute sports, trauma has always been a priority to the practice.

W: Dealing with inflammation based illnesses is certainly one of the “chronic tsunami” of things we keep getting told about. I guess you expect that to be a larger and larger portion of the clinic’s work?

N: Certainly from South Australia which has an aging population and aging demographic. And we are seeing more and more of the degenerative or inflammatory type conditions becoming a high proportion of the work. And that’s in combination with an older population and moremore, sort of higher, higher injury demand as well from greater demands of sporting life into the later life.

W: Nick what it is that you’d like clinicians who might be listening to us today to take away from our chat?

N: Well I think probably one of the things I find as most important is the people perceive quality services being expensive, and what we try to deliver is a very high level of quality of care but in efficient aspects to it, and that means that the process obviously and the cost of healthcare actually reduces by delivering more efficient processes, which means less waiting for the person and the patient. So we really believe that we can reduce the amount of waiting time, to reduce the amount of delays between diagnosis, treatment and effective return activity by making a more efficient service and in turn, that provides greater cost saving and also it provides greater quality of care.

W: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio with Wayne Bucklar. My guest today is Dr. Nick Wallwork who’s the chairman of SPORTSMED·SA, a hospital and orthopedic board of directors and an orthopedic surgeon. Nick joins us from Adelaide in South Australia and has just been talking about the efficiencies that the hospital is able to offer from having a, I guess Nick, a consolidation of all of the carers necessary in one place.

N: Yes. And we provide radiology services, we provide primary care services, physiotherapy, rehabilitation gym and the whole gambit of orthopedic services to rehabilitate a patient back to their function.

W: Now in every industry Nick, in every situation there are always misconceptions. What are the misconceptions amongst your customers, clients, patients, that drive you nuts and keep you awake at night?

N: In terms of the overall business structure in healthcare, I think people do have an expectation that from injury or from accidents or from the degenerative process they can regain full function but unfortunately the biggest misconception is that you’ll become perfect afterwards. There is always recovery and healing process and what we’re looking for is improvement rather than a complete return to the pre-injury level. And I think an acceptance of what we can deliver is probably equally important so that their expectations are met.

W: I can understand why that is a misconception that would keep you thinking about how to solve that and maybe today we can educate a few people and change that a little bit for you. Nick it’s been a pleasure having you with me on Health Professional Radio. How can people get in touch with you?

N: So we’re contactable in Adelaide with the direct clinic number which is 8130 1100, and certainly happy to see people for any issues they may have.

W: So I’ll just repeat that number, that was Adelaide 8130 1100. Is there a website where people can get in touch with you?

N: Yup, certainly it’s sportsmed.com.au

W: And because I’m always getting in trouble for never giving people a notice, fair notice listeners pencils ready, it’s www.sportsmed.com.au.

N: Yes.

W: Nick, well thank you very much for your time this morning. If you’ve just missed our conversation, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a transcript of it available on our website. There’s also an archive of the audio on SoundCloud and on YouTube and our website is www.hpr.fm. My name is Wayne Bucklar, this is Health Professional Radio.

Liked it? Take a second to support healthprofessionalradio on Patreon!