Vanguard helps tackle waiting times with mobile solution

Three mobile units are helping hospitals ramp up surgical procedures

A mobile theatre facility is being used at Southend Hospital to work through the backlog of patients waiting for treatment

Mobile healthcare solutions manufacturer, Vanguard, is helping an Essex trust tackle patient waiting times in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April 2020, three trusts merged to become Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, an organisation which provides a huge range of clinical services and care for a population of over 1.2 million people in central and south Essex.

Prior to March 2020, these trusts had, through a number of effective measures, managed to reduce the number of people waiting over a year for an elective procedure down to fewer than 200.

But, following the merger, and as a result of COVID-19 and the cancellation of elective procedures across all hospital trusts during the first period of lockdown; the newly-formed trust has seen waiting times increase again and, as of March 2021, had more than 8,500 people who had been waiting for their procedure for over a year.

With the easing of restrictions, that number has begun to reduce, but the trust wanted to do all it could to increase capacity.

And part of that work is being undertaken alongside Vanguard Healthcare Solutions.

The unit at Broomfield Hospital will provide additional capacity for ophthalmic procedures

For an initial period of six months, Vanguard will be providing three different mobile solutions at three of the trust’s hospitals.

At Broomfield Hospital, a Vanguard visiting hospital will provide additional capacity for ophthalmology procedures, while, at Basildon University Hospital, a mobile laminar flow theatre will support orthopaedics.

And, at Southend Hospital, a mobile theatre will be used for general surgery.

Vanguard will also be providing a team of 16 staff across the three solutions, with all three units operating at least five days a week.

Visiting hospitals include an operating theatre and ward, allowing for a complete patient pathway independent of the hospital’s estate.

They include anaesthetic, operating theatre, and first-stage recovery areas, reception/nurse station areas, and HEPA-filtered environmental air and utility areas.

All mobile theatres also include anaesthesia and recovery areas, a scrub area, changing rooms, and HEPA-filtered environmental air.

Maxine Lawson, account manager at Vanguard, said: “From our first site surveys in March, this has been a hugely-exciting project to work on with the trust, with logistical complexity, both in delivery and staffing.

“We’re delighted that our mobile solutions will play a key role in helping the trust drive down waiting times, increase patient capacity, and deliver essential patient care.”

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