East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has been awarded almost £7 million to invest in both increasing the number of operations carried out every day; and in new technology to improve services and efficiency.
As the Trust continues to care for patients who are seriously ill with Covid-19, staff have also been working to fully restore those services which were impacted by the pandemic. The money from the Department of Health and Social Care, announced on Friday as part of a £700m national fund, will be invested in:
· Three new procedure rooms – at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, and the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City – which will allow a greater number of simple procedures to take place during the day with no need for an overnight stay.
· Purchase of a third surgical robot, meaning that certain complex procedures can be done with minimal invasion, with far quicker and less painful recovery times. This means less time in hospital and less scarring – and often a reduced need for follow-up chemotherapy.
· A new digital scheduling system to increase the efficiency of the operating theatres at Lister Hospital, allowing for more accurate planning and scheduling, and greater monitoring to help drive improvements – and, ultimately, more operations taking place.
· A new specialist digital system for the ophthalmology (eye specialist) service, meaning greater efficiencies and less use of paper – and allowing scans and images of the eye to be more easily accessed by our clinicians. Along with the ability to better schedule appointments, this means that patients should see a faster service.
The Trust’s chief executive Nick Carver said:
“We are working hard to reduce our waiting lists as quickly as possible, for those who have been impacted by the pandemic while they wait for more routine procedures and treatment.
“However routine, we know that these operations can be life-changing and in November we carried out more operations than we did in 2019.
“Investing in more treatment space and technology will help us to treat more people, more quickly – and will also mean a better experience for our patients.
“I want to thank all those who have waited patiently – we are working as hard as we can for you.”