Mayday and Purley Hospitals are both to get an additional operating theatre, to help with efforts to reduce the backlog of operations that have built up during the covid pandemic, part of a £1.5billion government scheme for 50 surgical “hubs” around the country.
Croydon has already set the standard as the “blueprint” for covid recovery with the virus-secure “hospital within a hospital” to keep patients safe and keep NHS services running throughout the pandemic.
Now, it is to be part of a sustained effort to help Croydon Health Services NHS Trust get a whole range of procedures carried out, shorten waiting times and expand the services available to care for residents across the borough.
“This is good news,” an NHS front-line worker told Inside Croydon in response to the announcement.
“As long as they can staff it (and that’s a big ‘if’ at the moment), it increases surgical capacity, as lack of theatres and operating list space is the principal problem, alongside staffing, associated with reducing waiting lists.
“Boring, quick things will probably go to the new Purley theatre, freeing up Mayday space for more substantial and riskier procedures.”
In a statement from the NHS Trust, they said, “The new surgical hub at Purley War Memorial Hospital will expand the current facilities of the Purley Elective Centre. With dedicated staff and additional facilities, including new surgical theatres, short-stay wards and diagnostic services, the Purley Elective Centre will treat patients needing low-complexity procedures, such as treatment for hand surgery, treatments for varicose veins and gynaecological procedures.”
And according to the announcement, the expansion at Purley will not only increase capacity to help the local NHS treat people more quickly, but also free-up the Trust’s main surgical theatres at Croydon University Hospital to undertake more complex operations, including caring for patients referred from other hospitals, to maximise efforts to clear the COVID-19 backlogs.
Stella Vig, a consultant surgeon and the clinical director for covid-19 recovery at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said, “This is fantastic news for our patients in Croydon and for our hard-working staff. By opening a ‘hospital within a hospital’ we were able to keep patients safe from the virus and were quickly back above 100per cent pre-lockdown levels for routine care.
“We know we can do more and the expansion of the Croydon and Purley Elective Centres, will help us deliver extra procedures and know that more people are getting the care they need, whilst busting the backlogs and putting the pandemic behind us.”
Croydon Health Services NHS Trust say that they have safely cared for more than 26,000 patients needing planned care since the first wave of the pandemic, while continuing to care for people affected by covid in one of London’s hardest hit boroughs.
Around 3,000 patients have also been referred to Croydon by nearby NHS trusts to help tackle the covid backlogs and reduce waits, as part of a coordinated approach across south London.
The 50 new surgical hubs in England are backed by £1.5billion government funding with the goal of delivering almost 2million extra routine procedures across the country over the next three years.
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