More than £5m spent on upgrading operating theatres at Wansbecck Hospital

Northumbria Healthcare says patients are “reaping the benefits” of a recent £5.5 million upgrade of operating theatres at Wansbeck General.

By Joshua Wright
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 5:31 pm

The second phase of a major refurbishment of facilities was completed at the end of last month, providing an additional boost to Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s ongoing efforts to minimise waiting times for planned operations.

The latest works involved the full remodelling of theatres 1 to 4, as well as the associated ancillary spaces, and followed the completion of phase one, covering theatres 5 and 6, in June 2021.

The refurbishment includes a significant upgrade of theatre environment and space redesign to improve staff and patient flow, and aimed to eliminate any risk of infection during surgery.

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Wansbeck Hospitals new theatre refurbishment.

As well as the operating theatres themselves, the work includes remodelling of many support spaces and ancillary functions such as offices, store rooms, changing rooms and main corridor.

The revamp will see the increase of more laminar flow theatres from 4 to 6, which will provide more flexibility to increase many types of surgery, including spinal and orthopaedic operations.

As a result, the trust says it will greatly increase the efficiency of how the hospitals theatres can be used, leading to what it says will be shorter waiting times for patients.

Marion Dickson, Northumbria Healthcare’s executive director responsible for surgery, said: “I’m glad that this important project has been completed successfully and that we now have six new state-of-the-art theatres available for our patients.

“We are working incredibly hard to ensure waiting times for patients remain as short as possible and while we are not where we want to be, our performance on a national level continues to be very strong.”

Scott Muller, consultant orthopaedic surgeon and project lead, said: “I’m proud to be part of a highly-skilled team of staff delivering and supporting surgery for patients in Northumberland and North Tyneside, the wider region and beyond.

“I would also like to thank lead contractor Medical Air Technology, who were considerate and conscientious as they worked closely with trust estates and clinical teams to minimise disruption and complete the project on time.”