A ground breaking ceremony has been held to mark the start of work on a new state-of-the-art elective surgical hub in Cornwall.
The £15 million modular build will be located in the grounds of St Austell Community Hospital. Once in place, it is set to deliver around 5,000 day surgery procedures a year.
The hub will have 2 theatres, 4 recovery bays and 6 pre-op assessment rooms. It will also have a reception and waiting areas.
Steve Williamson, Chief Executive of Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust explains how the hub will benefit patients and the NHS.
"It is really important to local people that depending on the surgical procedure they need to have, some of them will be able to receive that procedure here. If you are a resident of mid, north or east Cornwall, you may be able to receive your care here in St Austell rather than travelling to the Royal Cornwall Hospital or Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. It is fantastic, as we know that travel is one of the factors that can add to the stress and challenges of having surgery. That care close to home is really important.
"Having 2 extra operating theatres increases our overall capacity. That is really important as we look to reduce the waiting times for surgeries. That is happening right across the NHS. We are absolutely thrilled that we are starting work on a new elective operating centre here at St Austell."
Debbie Richards, Chief Executive of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust says this development builds on the success of joint working, like the recently opened Bodmin Community Diagnostic Centre.
"This is a really important milestone of our partnership with the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, but also the work that is being enabled by NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board.
"It means that local people will be able to access some of their surgical procedures in the St Austell community. These are day case procedures, but it does mean that people will be able to come here and access care in a more convenient way.
"It is also going to provide some additional capacity that means as a system, we will be able to bring down waiting lists across the county."
The elective surgical hub will be built by ModuleCo. It will be owned by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and operated by clinicians from Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.