Additional orthopaedic capacity for Raigmore Hospital

The Need

Covering a huge area of 32,500 square kilometres and a population of 320,000, NHS Highland Health Board is one of the most sparsely-populated health economies in the UK. Despite this, it experienced increased demand for orthopaedic treatment and needed to provide additional capacity at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

The Vanguard Plan

Vanguard Healthcare Solutions worked with the team at Raigmore Hospital and the wider Health Board to provide a clinical solution that met their needs. The resulting plan included delivery of a mobile operating theatre with laminar flow ventilation and the provision of five clinical support staff.

The Vanguard Solution

Vanguard installed the laminar flow theatre and conducted the commissioning programme that ensures all quality standards are met prior to the unit becoming operational. To supplement the hospital’s staffing, Vanguard also placed one of its own teams within the mobile unit. The team chosen had relevant experience in assisting with orthopaedic procedures. As a result of this, these clinical support staff work alongside the hospital’s surgical team to help familiarise them with the new environment and to provide guidance on best practice methods. This helps to optimise the productivity and effectiveness of the mobile facility.

Surgery in progress in mobile theatre as used at Raigmore Hospital

The Outcome

With the facility and staff in place and on site, the Health Board began to address its waiting lists. The management team opted to use the facility to perform joint replacement procedures. These are some of the most in-demand procedures in the modern NHS, and this trend is projected to continue. The approach slowed patient flow through the unit due to the complex and highly-invasive nature of joint replacement procedures. The unit facilitated treatment of an average of three patients daily. However, this reduced pressure on the hospital’s permanent theatres and allowed for greater access to the its other orthopaedic services.