A further £14.95 million has been allocated to build two more elective theatres the Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre at Clatterbridge Hospital.
Wirral University Teaching Hospital was allocated £10.6 million of funding earlier this year from NHS England via Cheshire and Merseyside’s Integrated Care System (ICS) to build two new ‘modular theatres’ at its Clatterbridge Hospital site. This is set to open to treat the first patients in October.
In September further funding of £14.95 million was announced to build two further theatres at the centre as part of phase two of the project and they are expected to open early next year.
Following completion of both phases, the centre will treat around 6,000 patients each year across Cheshire and Merseyside.
Elective procedures nationally have been impacted by the COVID-19 situation, creating a backlog of patients waiting for treatment. The funds have come from the NHS’ Targeted Investment Fund to clear the backlog of people waiting for elective surgery.
This project aligns with national and regional NHS strategy to have robust plans in place to ensure elective surgery is not affected by hospital pressures.
The theatres are away from the Trust’s main busy acute hospital at Arrowe Park. This provides enhanced infection prevention and control by being separate from patients who require admission for respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 or flu.
It is aimed at reducing cancellations of surgery on the day resulting from pressures on hospital capacity and will therefore significantly improve patient experience as well as reduce wasting valuable operating time.
The theatres will treat a large number of patients from across the region, including Wirral, who require less complex surgery. It will also reduce the backlog of those patients with less urgent needs, with a focus on patients who have been waiting over 52 weeks for treatment.
Dr Nikki Stevenson, Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said, “We are delighted to have been allocated the further funding so we can double our capacity at our Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre.
“The four new theatres will enable us to treat so many more patients across the region who have unfortunately been waiting for elective surgery.”
Hayley Kendall, Chief Operating Officer at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, added, “The first phase of the project will enable elective surgery to continue over our busiest periods this winter and not be affected by non-elective hospital pressures. The second phase will enable us to start treating even more patients early next year.
“This will have a huge impact on patient experience and will enable us to treat patients not just in Wirral but across the Cheshire and Merseyside community.”
Rowan Pritchard-Jones, Medical Director for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said, “This additional funding to create two more elective theatres at the Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre is fantastic news. These theatres will provide quicker access to surgery and outpatients procedures for thousands of patients – improving patient experience and, most importantly, outcomes.”
The theatres are built as ‘modular’ buildings, meaning they are largely pre-built before arriving on site, reducing time for completion and disruption to existing services. The centre has been constructed on to the side of the current theatres at Clatterbridge Hospital.