Groundwork is now well advanced for the new operating theaters at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, which is set to become the health board’s center of excellence for orthopedic and spinal surgery.
This artist’s illustration shows what the impressive entrance to the new £6.1million theaters will look like. They are erected on land next to the Minor Injury Unit.
Over the summer, work was carried out to reroute underground cables and piping, and engineering work is underway to prepare the foundations, which are expected to last until October. We apologize for the extra noise during this period, but the difficult ground conditions necessitated more complex foundation work.
All three theaters are being built offsite and will be delivered before Christmas. They will be erected using a crane over a period of five days. Final installation work will continue into the New Year and spring, with the rooms due to be operational in June.
At the same time, a major staff recruitment campaign is also underway, after several months of workforce planning.
A similar new modular theater is already operational in Singleton Hospital’s day surgery unit which treats eye patients. Its high-tech specifications and design have been warmly welcomed by clinicians, with one describing the facilities as “space-age”.
Neath Port Talbot Hospital Center of Excellence is a key part of the health board’s strategic plan Change for the future program.
Orthopedic waiting lists, already very long before Covid-19, have worsened under the effects of the pandemic. More than half of our patients have been waiting for more than two years for orthopedic surgery.
Neath Port Talbot Hospital plans to offer an isolated elective service aimed at supplying the majority of patients on these lists.
Morriston Hospital will continue to be responsible for orthopedic trauma patients and orthopedic patients with more complex needs. The board of health is actively considering how best to serve this latter group.
In addition to orthopaedics, elective urology patients will also be treated in the new theatres, as Neath Port Talbot will also provide a center of excellence for urology.
When the new Neath Port Talbot theaters open in June, day one will initially offer the same range of cases as today, but with more patients. Sessions should increase over time to 150 per week.
The operating theaters are supported by three new advanced care beds, which will enable more complex surgeries to be performed from this fall. The ward provides patients with a higher level of nursing care than a standard ward, but less than full intensive care.
Group Director of Singleton and Neath Port Talbot Hospitals, Jan Worthing, said:
“It’s really exciting to see these plans progressing and the work now well underway for the new cinemas.
“Of course, having additional rooms is part of the investment we are making to reduce waiting lists.
“We are also investing in many other new employees, ranging from more porters and cleaners to administrative, pathology, pharmacy, radiology, therapy, nursing, medical and theater staff.
“Being part of Neath Port Talbot Hospital’s new Center of Excellence and working in new dedicated, state-of-the-art facilities is something that we hope will help attract new staff to strengthen our teams. and our services.”