Surgical solution tackles ophthalmic backlog at Derriford Hospital

Published: 9-May-2022

Plymouth trust invests in mobile theatre solution to create additional capacity

As NHS trusts across the country struggle to clear the significant patient backlog that has built up as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust has invested in two mobile operating theatres.

As part of the Devon Accelerator Programme, the trust secured funding to increase surgical capacity through the NHS Elective Recovery Fund.

The plan detailed the relocation of existing ophthalmic theatres from level 7 within the main hospital to a purpose-built facilities designed, built and installed by Vanguard Healthcare Solutions.

Consisting of two mixed-modality mobile operating theatres and a connecting modular support hub, the solution is operational five days a week, allowing for an increased number of elective procedures to take place.

And it has been essential in providing life-changing treatments to patients, including cataract surgery, dacrocystorhinostomy, ectropion, and blepharoplasty procedures.

Maxine Lawson, account manager for the South at Vanguard, said: “COVID-19 has posed numerous challenges to NHS trusts across the country. However, the introduction of the Vanguard facilities has proved essential in targeting the ophthalmic backlog at Derriford Hospital.”

Dr Tomas Cudrnak, clinical director for ophthalmology at the trust, added: “We were experiencing an issues with theatre capacity across the whole hospital, which meant the number of sessions we were able to deliver within our previous location each week dropped from 20 to 14.

“This new facility has been a very good step forward in terms of meeting the expectations of our patients as we dedicate one theatre to high-volume cataract surgery and the other to sub-specialty treatments.”

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