Bespoke mobile healthcare suite will offer ophthalmic hub for NHS Trust

A leading medical technology company is working with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to provide a bespoke ophthalmic “hub” in an innovative project. Over the next two years, Vanguard Healthcare Solutions will provide two laminar flow theatres which will create the basis for an eye-surgery hub at Royal Preston Hospital.

One will be used for general anaesthesia ophthalmology procedures while the other will see teams carry out day surgery ophthalmic procedures such as cataracts.  

The theatres will be connected by a bespoke-designed modular building which will house consulting rooms, waiting room and reception as well as a three-bed ward area and other facilities such as a kitchen, creating a “one-stop” facility for eye surgery at the Preston site. 

The facility has been created to assist the Trust, which offers healthcare services for a population of more than 350,000 people, to provide inpatient and day patient eye surgery services in Preston while its current facilities are redeveloped. Vanguard will also provide four clinical team members on one of the theatres throughout the project to help increase capacity and all three units will be managed by a Vanguard Unit Facilitator.

The mobile theatres have been delivered to the site and are currently in the commissioning and installation phase. The hub will welcome its first patients at the end of August and is due to remain on site for 24 months.

Designed and built by Vanguard, the mobile theatres each provide an anaesthetic room, operating theatre, two bed first-stage recovery area, staff changing room and utility areas. They will sit either side of the specially-constructed reception, clinic and recovery facility.

Vanguard laminar flow theatre facilities offer HEPA-filtered environmental air that conforms to Grade A EUGMP, with up to 600 air changes per hour passing over the patient, and 25 fresh air changes.

Gerry Skailes, Medical Director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “The additional theatres and recovery areas created by Vanguard have enabled us to relocate our ophthalmology services to enable the expansion and refurbishment of our Critical Care Unit at our Royal Preston Hospital site. 

“By increasing our theatre capacity we have also been able to increase the number of operations that we carry out thereby improving waiting times for our patients.”

Simon Squirrell, Vanguard Regional Manager UK North, explained: “Each project we work on is unique, and this exciting development at Royal Preston Hospital is a great example of how innovative Vanguard can be to support our customers and meet their specific needs.

“The Trust needed to create a space where ophthalmology cases could be undertaken while the theatre space usually used for these surgeries is under construction.

“We were able to develop a hub which allowed for exclusive theatre spaces for both cataract and GA procedures, but brought these together using a modular building to create a high quality, welcoming reception, clinic and recovery space.”

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