Clatterbridge Hospital’s new £2 million robot helping cancer patients

A state-of-the-art £2 million Da Vinci robot has been installed at the Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre at Clatterbridge Hospital, allowing more patients to be treated, including those with cancer.

The new robot will be used in a range of elective surgical planned procedures including cancer with the aim of reducing waiting times.

This is the second Da Vinci robot at Wirral University Teaching Hospital.  The first one was installed at Arrowe Park Hospital ten years ago and so having a second will greatly expand the Trust’s robotic surgical capacity and capability.

Funded through Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance, the robot uses advanced technology to enable surgeons to operate with greater accuracy resulting in better outcomes and most importantly faster recovery times for patients, with most patients will be able to go home the very next day.

Hayley Crawford, Urology and Robotic Specialist Lead, said, “The second robot will enable us to operate on more patients and they will be seen sooner. For the theatre team, this is a really exciting development.”

Robotic surgery involves tiny incisions into the body through which miniature-sized instruments are inserted. Fully under the control of the surgeon at all times the robot exhibits impressive dexterity with its precision, even being capable of peeling the skin off a grape.

Mr Manal Kumar, Urology Surgeon at Wirral University Teaching Hospital (pictured above), said, “This robot will increase the capacity available. We installed the first robot at Arrowe Park Hospital over ten years ago. Since then, a lot of our cancer patients have been operated on robotically. The demand for this service has increased tremendously.

“Because there is now access to 2 robots this will reduce waiting times for patients and enable more surgeons to be trained in robotic surgery at the centre.”

Mr Liviu Titu, Consultant Colorectal Cancer Lead at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said, “The availability of a dual console Da Vinci Xi robotic platform at the Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre will ensure that more patients will benefit from having a minimally invasive surgical procedure that will facilitate quicker recovery and earlier resumption of normal activities. Additionally, the range and scope of conditions suitable for robotic surgery will be expanded, whilst training in this modern technique will be more readily available to surgeons in the region.”

Wirral University Teaching Hospital is dedicated to offering the highest standards of patient care and continues to invest in the latest surgical technologies to better serve the needs of its community. The purchase of the Da Vinci robot cements the Trust’s commitment to its position as a regional centre for Urology Cancer treatment and further supports the vision of being a recognised robotics centre of excellence.

Janelle Holmes, Chief Executive at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said, “It’s a fantastic addition to our services at the hospital which will benefit the patients on the Wirral and across Cheshire and Merseyside. We are continuing to make lots of progress in treating patients more quickly through the investments we have made in state-of-the-art operating theatres, additional staff and new technology like the robot.”

Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre opened at Clatterbridge Hospital in November 2022 with two new theatres and aims to tackle the backlog of people waiting for elective surgery due to COVID-19. A further two theatres will open in late 2023 as part of phase two of the project. Once phase two is completed, over 6,000 more patients will be treated at the centre each year from across the Cheshire and Merseyside region and patients will benefit by getting quicker access to their planned operations and through the use of the latest technology.

Main image: Wirral University Teaching Hospital colleagues (L-R): Julie Jellicoe, Clatterbridge Perioperative Medicine Matron; Mr. Liviu Titu, Consultant Colorectal Cancer Lead; Mr. James Anderson, Colorectal Consultant Surgeon; Mr. Manal Kumar, Urology Consultant Surgeon; Mr. Gregory Simpson Colorectal Consultant Surgeon, and Hayley Crawford, Urology and Robotic Specialty Lead, pictured with the Da Vinci robot at Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre

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