Mobile operating theatre to help drive down waiting times in Yorkshire

A mobile laminar flow theatre, provided by Vanguard Healthcare Solutions and sited at Wharfedale Hospital in Otley, forms part of an elective care hub designed to tackle a backlog of patients waiting for treatment.

Vanguard is working alongside Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, who are developing their elective care hubs programme. The installation of the theatre is part of a wider project by the Trust which is focused on bringing down waiting times. The hubs aim to create specific sites, away from emergency care, which provide safe spaces to help manage people who need elective procedures.  

The hub at Wharfedale is the first to be created by the Trust. Since its installation at the end of last year, the theatre has treated more than 100 patients across a number of different specialities including urology, plastic surgery, maxillofacial, colorectal, breast and vascular surgical procedures, reducing the time patients wait for surgery and going forward will help treat patients while additional theatres are built by the Trust at Wharfedale. 

As well as providing the theatre, Vanguard provides a facilitator to work alongside the Trust’s own clinical staff, anaesthetists and surgeons. The facility is a mobile laminar flow theatre which, designed and built by Vanguard, provides an anaesthetic room, operating theatre, two-bed first-stage recovery area, staff changing room and utility areas. Vanguard also installed two bespoke modular buildings to create extra storage and staff welfare facilities. The Vanguard solution is due to be on-site at Wharfedale for 12 months. The laminar flow specification offers HEPA Filtered environmental air, conforming to Grade A EUGMP, with up to 600 air changes per hour passing over the patient, necessary for orthopaedic work. It is seamlessly connected to the main hospital building by a specially-designed corridor also constructed by Vanguard.  

Helen Odedra, Matron at Wharfedale Hospital, said: “The theatre is working really well. It’s completely connected to the main hospital building by a corridor, so people come down from the ward and would have no idea the theatre isn’t just part of the building. It has already been very helpful in helping us manage the lists. 

“We can do most of the procedures that would normally be carried out in our theatres upstairs in the Vanguard, It’s an excellent clinical space. Clinicians have given really positive feedback about working on the unit. It’s a fantastic facility and it’s working very well. We’re very proud of our hospital and very proud of the service we offer people – this theatre is a key part of that and has fitted ‘right in’ with excellent care we offer at Wharfedale.”  

Robert Hakin, Assistant Director of Corporate Planning at the Trust, said: “Two pillars of our programme are to treat some of our longest waiting patients and to do that as quickly as possible. We also knew that we wanted to extend the theatre capacity at Wharfedale and that building those would take several years. We needed something much more quickly and that brought us to a mobile facility as the right solution for the immediate impact it could have and is having."  

Lindsay Dransfield, Chief Commercial Officer at Vanguard Healthcare Solutions said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Trust on this important project and to see it having such a direct and positive effect on patient care, adding clinical capacity right in the heart of the community.  

“It is a project which brings with it a great deal of social value. We worked alongside local partners in helping prepare the site and it makes the most of the Trust’s estate and assets to help them provide essential procedures for local people, in a facility where local people work. The theatre is bringing elective care closer to the people who need it and means patients are able to access those essential services and procedures much more quickly and easily.”

 

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