Six New Operating Theatres to Open at Darlington Memorial Hospital in £20m Investment

A multi-million pound upgrade to operating theatres in a North-East hospital has been unveiled to surgeons and the next generation of clinical staff.


Six New Operating Theatres to Open at Darlington Memorial Hospital in £20m Investment

Six new state-of-the-art theatres have been built at Darlington Memorial Hospital (DMH) alongside the refurbishment of six existing theatres as part of a £20m investment into the site.

Surgical teams are expected to carry out their first operations in the cutting edge suites next month at the hospital that already performs 10,000 procedures annually.

A behind-the-scenes tour of the ongoing building work saw County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust staff explore their new work environment alongside students from Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College interested in studying medicine.

Anthony Humphrey, an orthopaedic and trauma consultant based at DMH, said: “We’ve been in cramped theatres for years now and the technology has progressed particularly over the last couple of years.

“Now we have the space and the technology – our patients won’t notice a difference to the excellent care that they receive, but it does make for much happier surgeons.

“I’ve recently had an operation myself so it’s been very interesting to see it from the other side.

“We’ll have more theatres to help patients and that’s a good thing for everyone.”

The 1960s-built Pierremont Building and the Mary Hodgkin Memorial Chapel were both demolished to make way for the three-storey building and a mortuary, as part of plans that were agreed in early 2014.

The theatre suites now include better than high definition-quality live camera feeds necessary for use in intricate keyhole surgery procedures.

Touchscreen facilities to adjust lighting and ventilation in the building have also been installed, as well as larger storage areas for medical equipment.

The upgraded theatre suites and technology available is expected to improve waiting times for patients with the number of operations being carried out per year set to increase.

Sue Jacques, chief executive of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is the culmination of a plan that did start a number of years ago and it’s really to ensure we meet the needs of patients.

“We can provide the highest quality of care, but also the best environment for patients to be cared in and for our staff to work in.

“Our waiting times will be as short as possible and we’ve already got some of the shortest waiting times in the country.

“The theatres really will be the best in the North-East of England.”

Retired surgical nurses were shown around the new facilities – still partly under construction – alongside leading members of the Trust’s clinical staff.

Darlington-based A Level students planning a career in medicine also took the opportunity to tour areas of the hospital rarely open to members of the public.


Source: The Northern Echo



Six New Operating Theatres to Open at Darlington Memorial Hospital in £20m Investment

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The Operating Theatre Journal, OTJ, is published monthly and distributed to every hospital operating theatre department in the UK. The distribution includes both the National Health Service and the Private Sector.

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