Mobile theatre drives down waiting times in Yorkshire

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 27-Mar-2023

Vanguard Healthcare solution enables trust to address surgical backlog

An innovative mobile operating theatre is helping to drive down waiting times for essential procedures in Yorkshire.   

The mobile laminar flow theatre, provided by Vanguard Healthcare Solutions and sited at Wharfedale Hospital in Otley, forms part of an elective care hub designed to tackle a backlog of patients waiting for treatment.  

Vanguard is working alongside Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which is developing their elective care hubs programme.

And the installation of the theatre is part of a wider project by the trust focused on bringing down waiting times. 

The hubs aim to create specific sites, away from emergency care facilities, which provide safe spaces to help manage people who need elective procedures.   

The hub at Wharfedale is the first to be created by the trust.

Since its installation, the theatre has treated more than 100 patients across a number of different specialities including urology, plastic surgery, maxillofacial, colorectal, breast, and vascular surgical procedures, reducing the time patients wait for surgery. 

As well as providing the theatre, Vanguard provides a facilitator to work alongside the trust’s own clinical staff, anaesthetists, and surgeons. 

The facility is a mobile laminar flow theatre which, designed and built by Vanguard, provides an anaesthetic room, operating theatre, two-bed first-stage recovery area, staff changing room, and utility areas.

Vanguard also installed two bespoke modular buildings to create extra storage and staff welfare facilities.

The laminar flow specification offers HEPA Filtered environmental air, conforming to Grade A EUGMP, with up to 600 air changes per hour passing over the patient, necessary for orthopaedic work.

And it is seamlessly connected to the main hospital building by a specially-designed corridor also constructed by Vanguard.  

The solution is due to be on site at Wharfedale for 12 months.   

Helen Odedra, matron at Wharfedale Hospital, said: “The theatre is working really well.

“It is completely connected to the main hospital building by a corridor, so people come down from the ward and would have no idea the theatre isn’t just part of the building. It has already been very helpful in helping us manage the lists.” 

Robert Hakin, assistant director of corporate planning at the trust, added: “Two pillars of our programme are to treat some of our longest-waiting patients and to do that as quickly as possible. 

“We also knew that we wanted to extend the theatre capacity at Wharfedale and that building those would take several years. We needed something much more quickly and that brought us to a mobile facility as the right solution for the immediate impact it could have, and is having.”


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