Kettering General Hospital has just completed a £5.5 million refurbishment of its six main operating theatres.
The investment has ensured the operating theatres – located on the first floor of the main ward block – have the highest standards of technology and safety.
The work has taken two years to complete and has been carried out on a theatre-by-theatre basis, with the final trauma theatre being completed at the end of August.
The hospital has worked around the temporary closure of individual operating theatres and has continued to provide all urgent and the majority of routine operations as planned.
However having all six theatres running at full capacity should also help the hospital to better cope with its workload and in the long term help it to reduce waiting times for planned surgery.
Deputy divisional director of surgery, Kate Vanham, said: “For our theatre and estates teams this is a major achievement – and one we have been supporting and working towards for quite a long time.
“NHS hospitals have very high standards of safety for operating theatres and the technology and ventilation systems that reduce the risk of infection in theatres are improving all the time.
“The refurbishment means we now have some of the most modern systems available to help our teams work safely and effectively to provide the operations and procedures that people need to maintain their health.”
Consultant anaesthetist and clinical lead for anaesthetics, Dr Phil Watt, said: “This has been a huge undertaking, working to refurbish old estate to modern standards with all the attendant problems that brings, while ensuring we continued to deliver the service to our patients with minimal disruption.
“The end result is a very significant improvement in terms of both the look and feel of the environment, and the quality of the ventilation and clean air systems and should ensure we are now well placed to deliver a reliable and safe service for years to come.”
Three of the refurbished theatres are what are called laminar flow, which means they use ultra clean highly filtered air to reduce the risk of infection, which is especially important in orthopaedic operations.
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Srinivasen Shyamsundar, said: “This is a fantastic development which will help to provide us with the best, and safest, operating theatres.
“We are all very pleased with the new facilities – as an orthopaedic consultant surgeon I am especially pleased with the three laminar flow theatres which provide an ultra-clean environment suitable for joint replacement operations where minimising the risk of infection is very important.”
The trust will now invest in phase two of the theatre project and will work with the teams to refresh the changing and staff rooms further improving the environment for the people who work in it.
In total, the hospital has 16 operating theatres.