Multi-million elective surgical hub opens at Clatterbridge Hospital

A multi-million pound elective surgical hub, Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre, has opened its doors at Clatterbridge Hospital.

The centre, which has two brand new theatres, has started treating patients from across the region. It has been developed to treat solely patients awaiting elective or planned surgery. Not only will it benefit Wirral patients but those across Cheshire and Merseyside.

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 the two new ‘modular theatres’ at its Clatterbridge Hospital site.

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 next year.

Following completion of both phases in an investment of over £25 million, the centre will treat around 6,000 patients each year across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Elective procedures nationally were impacted by the COVID-19, exacerbating the 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.

The centre has opened ahead of winter and is part of NHS plans to ensure elective surgery is not affected by unscheduled care demands

It has been built away from the Trust’s acute hospital at Arrowe Park, to ensure it is separate from patients who require emergency admission including admission for respiratory infections such as COVID-19 or flu this winter.

The aim is to reduce cancellations of surgery on the day that may have resulted from pressures on hospital capacity. It will therefore improve patient experience and prevent valuable operating time being wasted.

It will treat many patients from across the region, including Wirral, who require elective surgery. This will reduce the backlog of 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, “I’m delighted that we have opened the centre ahead of winter and we have already treated a number of patients from across the region who required elective surgery.

“The centre will enable us to treat many more patients, especially when the second phase is complete. It will make a huge difference to those across the region who have unfortunately been waiting for surgery and will greatly improve patient experience.”

Hayley Kendall, Chief Operating Officer at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, added, “As we head into one of the busiest periods for hospitals this winter, the centre will ensure elective care is not affected by acute hospital pressures. It is great that we are now able to provide high quality elective care for patients across the region.”

Rowan Pritchard-Jones, Medical Director for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said, “The opening of Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre is fantastic news. There has been significant investment in these theatres, which are now providing quicker access to surgery and outpatients procedures for thousands of patients – reducing waiting lists, improving patient experience and, most importantly, improving people’s outcomes.”

The innovative development has seen the theatres created as modular buildings, meaning they were largely pre-built before arriving on site, reducing time for completion and disruption to services. Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre has been constructed on to the side of the current theatres at Clatterbridge Hospital.

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