A NEW theatre block at Poole Hospital has been declared officially open – by the first patient to use it.
University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) staff and partners came together on Tuesday (July 18) to see patient Julie Hills cut the ribbon at the five-storey, purpose-built theatres.
An extension to the existing hospital building, the development incorporates a four-table open-plan ‘barn’ theatre, with each patient treated in a dedicated space with an ultra-clean air canopy over each station.
Guests were then invited to tour the new facilities before Jacqueline Swift, HM Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.
In the future, the consolidation of planned care on the Poole Hospital site will provide rapid treatment of elective operations without the disruption or delay that can occur from high volumes of emergency cases having to take precedence.
Thousands of patients each year will benefit from shorter waiting times due to the changes, said Siobhan Harrington, UHD chief executive.
“This is an important milestone for our hospital trust as we officially open this state-of-the art new surgical hub,” she said.
“The new building is at the centre of our plans to create the major planned care hospital for our region, helping to shorten waiting times, provide easier access to planned care and to deliver better outcomes for patients.
“Despite the many challenges the NHS faces, today we celebrate the many people who worked tirelessly to get us to today, the bright future for Poole Hospital, and the long-term investment that will help transform care in Dorset.”
Dr Isabel Smith, UHD medical director of strategy and transformation, added: “The ‘barn’ theatre and facilities within the building will increase efficiency, meaning more patients will be seen sooner.
“The safety of care will also be enhanced because we can work more as a collaborative team.
“As a consultant anaesthetist, I have seen first-hand the real buzz in the theatres among my colleagues – we all enjoy working here and we are hoping that this will attract more staff, as we need more to deliver what we want.
“The opening of this surgical hub is an important step on the journey to create the separation of planned and emergency care.
“We are not there yet, but in the meantime, this site will allow us to carry out operations a lot more safely and efficiently.”
The £500m transformation of services will mean during 2025, Poole Hospital will become the major planned care hospital for the region, able to offer high quality elective care, protected from emergency pressures.
Meanwhile, a major emergency hospital being developed at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital includes the new BEACH Building, housing a purpose-built maternity unit, children’s unit, enhanced emergency department and critical care unit.