THE UK’s leading provider of innovative healthcare infrastructure solutions is working alongside Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in a bid to tackle delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The installation of a mobile operating theatre from Vanguard Healthcare Solutions will see 200 more patients a month able to receive a range of planned procedures at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

The unit will be used to perform procedures including breast surgery, minor vascular, upper and lower GI surgery, urology, and gynaecology operations and minor orthopaedic work at the site. The theatre is expected to be in place a3t the hospital until April 2022 and will help ease the backlog in procedures caused by the pandemic.

Countywide theatre matron for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Mathew Trotman, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to introduce the new theatre at the Alexandra Hospital.

“This enables our teams to utilise our theatres and facilities more efficiently, and more importantly see those patients who may have been waiting for their elective procedure following delays caused by the Covid pandemic more quickly than we might otherwise have been able to do.

“Our priority is to ensure we are delivering safe and effective care, with patients having a positive experience when in our care. This purpose-built theatre enables us to see a high number of low complexity cases, allowing us to perform more procedures, as we increase our capacity, allowing us to see approximately 150-200 more patients a month.”

Designed and built by Vanguard, the theatre provides an anaesthetic room, operating theatre, two-bed first-stage recovery area, staff changing room and utility areas. 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.

Robin Snead, the Trust’s deputy chief operating officer, added: “The additional theatre forms an important part of our wider reset and recovery programme that is in place to help hospital and wider health services continue to keep putting patients first despite the continuing impact of the Covid pandemic.

“Having this extra facility at the Alexandra Hospital is also entirely consistent with our vision for the future of the Alexandra as a centre of excellence for planned surgery, and our objective of providing the best care for local people.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group for supporting this important initiative, as well as all the staff who have gone above and beyond to ensure this project has run smoothly. It’s a great example of the work being done across our local health and care system to improve access to services for our patients.”

Mari Gay, managing director and lead executive for quality and performance for NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG said: “We know that – despite the best efforts of hardworking NHS staff – the impact of Covid has disrupted non-urgent care and meant that many people have had to wait longer for procedures than they usually would.

“This new theatre will allow us to treat patients quicker and forms a critical part of our wider system plan to address some of the Covid backlog.”

Maxine Lawson, Account Manager South at Vanguard, said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside the Trust on this important project.

“COVID-19 has brought real challenges in terms of waiting times for procedures and we’re thrilled that our Vanguard mobile theatre can play its part in helping the Trust drive down waiting times and help deliver essential patient care.

“Solutions such as a mobile theatre really give Trusts the flexibility to add capacity where and when it is needed, without commissioning long-term and costly building work.”