Mobile operating theatre reduces waiting list backlog at Colchester General Hospital

The Need

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust provides clinical services for a population of around 370,000 in Colchester and north-east Essex. During centralisation of acute services around Colchester General Hospital, it developed a backlog of elective day-case operations in certain specialities. To address this, the hospital required a mobile solution to alleviate the problem. They deployed the mobile unit to perform day surgery procedures to alleviate this bottleneck in the patient waiting list.

The Vanguard Plan

The Vanguard Healthcare Solutions team worked alongside the Trust’s estates, management and clinical teams to determine their specific requirements. Together, they created a bespoke plan to provide a mobile laminar flow theatre. The mobile offers a dedicated anaesthetic room, 2-bed first-stage recovery area and full operating theatre using a laminar flow ventilation system.

The Vanguard Solution

The operating theatre deployed at the hospital is extremely versatile. Equipped with an ultra-clean air flow system, it facilitates anything from general surgery to more invasive procedures. As high patient demand placed pressure on the Trust’s staffing capabilities, not just its physical capacity, Vanguard’s total service included using its own highly-trained nursing team. Comprised of multi-skilled general nurses and operating department practitioners, the Vanguard staff team work alongside the hospital’s own clinicians.

 

Vanguard clinical support staff assist operational delivery at Colchester General Hospital

The Outcome

The efficiency of the mobile unit was maximised through the use of four members of the Vanguard clinical team to support the Trust’s own surgeons and anaesthetists. The mobile theatre, hosted directly outside the permanent Elmstead Day Unit at Colchester General Hospital, allowing easy access for day case patients. Over the 26 weeks it was on site, the Trust was able to perform an additional 480 procedures within the mobile unit. This was a significant reduction of the waiting list backlog, facilitating quicker access to treatment for the patients concerned.