Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH) has started work to move the colorectal and hepatobiliary service from the Queen’s Medical Centre to City Hospital.
The move will affect around 900 patients a year and potentially an extra 100 – 150 patients requiring more complex intestinal care.
The development includes the creation of a ward with 20 beds on the City campus called the ‘Jubilee Unit’, three theatres and a 10 bedded Enhanced Perioperative Care Unit (EPOC) for surgical patients who cannot be cared for in a general ward.
The trust says this will allow Colorectal and HPB patients to access ‘ring-fenced’ planned care at City Hospital, reducing the risk of cancellations due to increased urgent care demand at the QMC.
This will then have the knock-on effect of helping to cut waiting times and release extra space at the QMC.
The new ward opened 10 beds in January 2023 and another 10 beds are expected to open in May.
The theatre and Enhanced Perioperative Care Unit will open in July.
It follows Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH) securing £15 million of NHS funding to increase elective surgery at City Hospital through extra theatres and ward beds.
Wider plans for the trust through the Tomorrow’s NUH programme will see City Hospital transformed into a “centre of excellence for elective [planned] care”.
The current elective service is co-located with emergency theatre provision, leading to “cancellations and longer waits” for patients needing pre-planned operations.
“It is felt that the need to act urgently to secure this additional external capital funding and therefore avoid further long waits for citizens and the associated harm this would entail outweighs the benefits from consulting on this proposal”, NHS papers stated.
The papers add that following the pandemic, “elective activity has not yet increased to the levels required to treat current backlogs and manage current demand”.
It is part of wider NHS plans to tackle waiting lists which requires trusts to “deliver activity at 110 per cent of pre-covid levels in 2022/23 increasing to 130 per cent by 2024/25”.
NUH staff will attend a health scrutiny meeting at Nottinghamshire County Council on May 9 to discuss an update on the plans.
Lisa Durant; System Delivery Director, Planned Care, Cancer and Diagnostics, and Mr Ayan Banerjea; Divisional Director Surgery, NUH, will attend the meeting.
An online survey offered patients the opportunity to share their views in November 2022.
A total of 22 people replied to the surveys and just under half expressed concern that their surgery may be carried out at City Hospital and that the outpatient and pre-operative clinics will remain at QMC.
However, by a slight majority, the City Hospital was rated as the easiest hospital to access for patients, with 58 per cent rating their access
as excellent or good, compared to 44 per cent rating access to QMC as excellent or good.
People also referenced the limited car parking facilities at City Hospital, which they felt would be problematic.
Despite this, the majority of patients were still in support of travelling to
City Hospital if services were relocated there.