Barts Health establishes new surgical hubs

Barts Health NHS Trust has established new surgical hubs to help reduce the numbers waiting for surgery.

Twenty-four types of routine operations will be delivered from fast-track surgical hubs over the coming months. 

Two of the hubs are based at Whipps Cross Hospital, with the Eye Treatment Centre providing cataract surgery and the Plane Tree Centre offering common bladder and ear, nose and throat procedures. At Newham Hospital, the Gateway Surgical Centre will be providing a number of orthopaedic procedures including hip and knee replacements.

The surgical hubs are all based in Covid-secure environments, with dedicated facilities bringing skills and resources together under one roof, with staff caring only for surgical patients to minimise the risk of infection.

Miss Sudeshna Patra, Consultant Eye Surgeon at Whipps Cross, said: “In essence the surgical hub is an innovative queue management system much like smart checkout tills in the supermarket. Patients with less complex surgical needs are fast-tracked through a streamlined high flow pathway.”

“This has the benefit of both reducing the backlog of patients in need of elective surgery as well allowing more individualised care for the patients with complex needs.” 

Dr Nick Bunker, clinical director at the Gateway Surgical Centre, said: “These new hubs will benefit patients in London for many reasons. Operations that were cancelled or postponed because of the pandemic are being rapidly rescheduled, and by keeping these hubs Covid-free, we’re ensuring they’re safe and secure for people to be treated in.

“Another big benefit of the hubs is that patients will be treated by surgeons who are performing the same type of surgery day in, day out. Developing hubs of expertise like these will help deliver better patient outcomes. We hope these hubs act as an exemplar that others will follow.”