DAVID Wootton became the first patient to be treated at the newly-opened elective orthopaedic centre at Central Middlesex Hospital.

“I think they were slightly anxious I wasn’t going to show up,” he joked.

The 72-year-old underwent a partial knee replacement in the morning and was on his way home to Acton the same day under a new fast-track service that will enable thousands of orthopaedic procedures a year.

The former secondary school teacher’s most pressing concern was getting back in time to watch his favourite TV shows - University Challenge and Mastermind - that evening.

Orthopaedic surgeons Ian Sinha and Daniel Hay duly obliged, ensuring David was home in time to answer his ‘starter for ten’.

The two doctors, from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, worked alongside a London North West Trust theatre team.

The £9.4m elective centre is a partnership between LNWH, Imperial College Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Trust, and Hillingdon Hospitals Trust

It focuses on ‘high volume, low complexity’ bone and joint procedures, such as knee and hip replacements, allowing other hospitals across the area to perform more complex procedures.

David added: “My knees have been troubling me for several years and, when I saw a consultant this November, he confirmed I needed two replacements.

“I was expecting to wait at least 18 months so, when they said I could have the first procedure within a month, I was delighted.

David is no stranger to Central Middlesex. He was born in the hospital and his grandfather worked there as a heating engineer.

“I feel quite privileged to be the EOC’s guinea pig and they have already confirmed the other knee will be done in a few months,” he said

The EOC will eventually include two new operating theatres and a larger recovery unit by remodelling part of the existing hospital site.

It will help reduce a waiting list of several thousand patients that has built up across the nine hospital sites in north-west London.

Patients’ pre and post-operative care will remain at their local hospitals, with surgeons travelling to the EOC for procedures.