New surgical services at the NHS Nightingale Exeter are already benefiting people in South Devon who have previously had surgery delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nightingale was originally part of the national response to the first wave of the Covid pandemic, set up to provide emergency care for patients with Covid across Devon, Somerset and Dorset
The unit has since been bought by the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of NHS organisations across the South West, and las tyear received funding from the National Accelerator Systems Programme as part of the national response to reduce patient waiting times.
The Nightingale site has now been transformed to provide a range of different services, which includes the Southwest Ambulatory Orthopaedic Centre.
The centre has two operating theatres for day case and short stay elective orthopaedic.
Richard, of Brixham underwent a knee replacement operation at Nightingale.
He said: “I had been waiting three and a half years for my operation, so I was delighted when I was first offered the opportunity to go to the Nightingale a few months ago.
“It was a fantastic experience in brand new facilities, I came home on the same day and it couldn’t have gone any better.
“I had been in a lot of pain and this will make such a difference and I can be more active.”
Dr Mary Stocker, clinical lead for the Southwest Ambulatory Orthopaedic Centre at NHS Nightingale Exeter and the trust’s consultant anaesthetist, said: “The Southwest Ambulatory Orthopaedic Centre (SWAOC) at NHS Nightingale Exeter will significantly benefit people in Torbay and South Devon, many of whom, like people all over the country, have been waiting a very long time for surgery.
“We know these surgeries are life-changing for people, reducing pain, increasing mobility and enhancing quality of life.
“Services and, as a result, waiting lists have been impacted by the pressures associated with the pandemic, and this is a really positive step forward as part of wider work to reduce this.
“At SWAOC we have developed really innovative new pathways which enable many of our patients to be well enough to return to their own homes on the same day as their surgery.
“We have drawn from the expertise of Torbay and South Devon’s nationally recognised day surgery unit, and from leading orthopaedic units across the country, to establish an orthopaedic centre which offers the patients of Devon an exemplary pathway of care.
“I know first-hand how difficult it has been for our staff not to be able to deliver the care that they know is needed.
“Being able to treat and care for our patients at the Nightingale is hugely important.
“I would urge anyone who is offered the opportunity to have their surgery at the Nightingale to accept if they are at all able to do so.
“You will receive excellent care and treatment from our dedicated staff and your aftercare will continue to be provided locally.”
Ian Currie, Torbay Hospital’s medical director, said: “The new centre is already bringing clear and crucial benefits to people in Torbay and South Devon who are waiting for treatment.”
The Nightingale is also now home to the Centre of Excellence for Eyes, the Devon Diagnostic Centre, and the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s rheumatology department.
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