The brand new multi-million pound elective surgery hub at the Clatterbridge Hospital site in Wirral will be named Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre.
Wirral University Teaching Hospital was allocated £10.6 million of funding from NHS England and Improvement via Cheshire and Merseyside’s Integrated Care System (ICS) to build two new ‘modular theatres’ at its Clatterbridge Hospital site.
Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre will open in early October and will treat around 3,000 patients a year.
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. The benefit is this provides enhanced infection prevention and control as they are separate from patients who require admission for respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 or flu.
The aim will be to reduce cancellations of surgery on the day, which have resulted from pressures on hospital capacity. It will therefore significantly improve patient experience and reduce wasting valuable operating time.
The additional 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.
Janelle Holmes, Chief Executive at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said, “It is fantastic that this centre will be opening this year and will benefit patients not just in Wirral but across Cheshire and Merseyside.
“This is an important development to enable us to treat many more patients across the region who have unfortunately been waiting longer than expected for their elective surgery. This is also part of our winter plans, to enable elective surgery to continue over our busiest periods and not be affected by non-elective hospital pressures.
“This is an innovative project which supports collaboration between NHS organisations in the region so we can offer treatment for patients not just in Wirral but across the Cheshire and Merseyside community.”
Paul McNulty, Divisional Director of Surgery, who is leading the development, said, “We are really excited to be opening this fantastic centre in Wirral which will benefit so many patients. Our recruitment for staff to the centre has been very successful and we have clinicians and experts in their fields joining our team.”
Rowan Pritchard-Jones, Medical Director for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said, “Across Cheshire and Merseyside NHS teams are working really hard to address the waiting list that has built up over the past two years. We’re making great strides and have made significant improvements in our waiting list position.
“Collaboration between NHS organisations in our region is key, and the new Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre will see fewer people waiting for surgery, and greatly improve patient experience.”
The theatres were built as ‘modular’ buildings, meaning they were largely pre-built before arriving on site, reducing time for completion. They are being constructed on to the side of the current theatres at Clatterbridge Hospital.