New hospital unit means routine operations can continue over winter
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Two new operating theatres in a former private medical centre will help a hospital step up routine operations during the second wave of the coronavirus.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn bought the BMI Sandringham unit which stands on part of its grounds for an undisclosed sum last month.
It will provide the QEH with a dedicated elective surgical facility and means it can restart its elective surgical programme.
In the light of the impact of coronavirus on the NHS, the government say trusts must deliver 70pc of their pre-Covid level of routine operations such as hip or knee replacements or gynaecological procedures.
The QEH’s normal level is around 285 procedures a month, of which 60pc (171) is currently being delivered. But the Sandringham will have capacity to perform 85 operations a month, bringing the hospital up to delivering around 250 a month - far in excess of the government target.
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The surgical pre-assessment team completed their move into the Sandringham Unit on October 28.
The new dedicated facility means that all patients will now go to one place for their surgical pre-assessment bringing this important service under one roof.
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Twelve beds will open to start with. The number will be expanded to 25.
Kari Caley, who was one of the first patients to use the new facilities, was impressed with the new service.
“The Sandringham Unit was really lovely and the staff were very caring and welcoming - overall I’m happy”.
As well as extra space and capacity, the hospital has also welcomed over 70 new members of staff, following their transfer from BMI to QEH.
Denise Smith, chief operating officer for the QEH, said: “We are so pleased to open the new Sandringham Unit.
“This is fantastic news for our patients, their families and our staff. We are delighted to have a dedicated elective surgical centre which will open all year round for our local population.
“The acquisition of the Sandringham Hospital is a really important strategic development for the trust and one which will hugely benefit our patients and local community.”