New state-of-the-art NHS hospital to help tackle COVID backlog
A new ‘planned care’ hospital dedicated to non-emergency treatment is due to open in Berkshire, as the NHS continues its efforts to address COVID-19 backlogs.
Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot, part of Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, will focus on cutting waits for routine care with staff prioritising patients who have been waiting longest, including for orthopaedic and ophthalmology services.
The new hospital includes six state-of-the-art theatres and will provide services for Orthopaedics and Plastics, Ophthalmology, Orthodontics and Lithotripsy. There will be outpatient services for Cardiology, Gynaecology, General Medicine and Urology, supported by Endoscopy, Physiotherapy, Phlebotomy and Radiology.
There will also be a range of outpatient services under the same roof including gynaecology, urology and cardiology services. These will be supported by services offering patients endoscopy, physiotherapy, phlebotomy and radiology checks and treatments.
The elective recovery plan, published in February, set out a blueprint to address backlogs built up during the pandemic and aims to increase capacity over the next three years to deliver around 17 million diagnostic tests.
From one stop shops for lifesaving checks and new surgical hubs across the country to protect non-urgent care during the pandemic – local NHS trusts are pulling out the stops to boost capacity to carry out as many routine tests, checks and treatment as possible.
The new hospital follows other new community initiatives helping to tackle the backlog and get life-saving health checks to thousands of patients, including one stop diagnostic centres, same day hip replacements and mobile CT and MRI scanners.
Amanda Pritchard, NHS Chief Executive said: “This fantastic new facility shows how the NHS is adapting and changing to meet current demands – putting in practice what we learnt about planned care during the pandemic.
“While new dedicated surgical hubs have been made available across the country to help protect non-urgent care, this hospital is the first purpose built facility aimed at tackling backlogs and getting quicker checks and treatments for patients who need routine care.”
Neil Dardis, Chief Executive, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This will be one of the best planned care hospitals in the NHS, using technology and innovation to provide the best treatments and experience for our patients.
“The entire building has been designed to provide easy, efficient and excellent care and help to reduce waiting times for patients needing planned procedures.
“Heatherwood Hospital is incredibly important to our community, and I’m so pleased for our teams to be working in such a fantastic facility that will greatly improve care for our patients.”