Patients across Devon and Cornwall are now receiving surgical treatment for eye conditions at two new modular theatres at Derriford Hospital.
The initiative was selected to receive investment from the NHS Elective Recovery Fund to address the major impact of covid on hospital waiting times, as part of the Devon Accelerator Programme to expand operating capacity in the county.
By moving REI day case services to a modular facility, two theatres within the acute hospital have been released to conduct more complex surgeries (those that are reliant on the intensive care facilities of Derriford Hospital).
When asked about the importance of this expansion, Chief Operating Officer, Jo Beer said: “This is an investment that will help us to progress our immediate elective recovery, but gaining a new facility of this nature will also leave a longer legacy that will continue to benefit the region into the future.
“Our surgical waiting times have been severely impacted by the pandemic, so the addition of two new theatres will be incredibly important. It will bring the potential to see up to an additional 200 patients each month across our various specialties, which will over time allow us to begin to make progress into reducing waiting times, particularly for the most complex, longest waiting or highest clinical priority cases.”
With this move complete, attention is now turned to phase 2 of the programme. Funds have been secured for a permanent off-site facility for the REI.
When asked about future developments, Future Hospitals Director, Stuart Windsor said: “We are in advanced stages of planning and intend to break ground on the new REI development in the near future. The expectation is that this unit will begin to receive patients in mid-2022.
“This is a great opportunity for the service to move into a purpose-built facility of its own, which will be the long-term home of the REI. It also presents an important step in us beginning to renovate the hospital, as part of our Future Hospitals programme which will shape health services in the years to come. Creating a large space on level 3 allows us to re-think how we offer our existing services and allow decant space for us to begin to implement some of those changes.”