Surgical unit opens at Devon hospital

New equipment at the children's surgical unit
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust said the service would provide a protected theatre space for children [BBC]

A children's surgical unit has opened at a hospital in Devon.

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust said it expanded the facilities it had for children and families at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.

It provides three operating theatres and a dedicated entrance and drop off area for children and young people, it said.

It added there was an admission area, including spaces for children with additional needs, and a large stage recovery area where children could be discharged home directly without needing to be admitted to hospital.

The trust said the new facility was the "only dedicated children's surgical unit in the South West, outside of Bristol Children's Hospital".

Consultant paediatric anaesthetist Dr Simon Courtman said they were lucky to have the new facility.

"We are able to offer surgery to children delivered by dedicated surgical, anaesthetic, and nursing teams in a unit specifically designed for children and young people," he said.

"The extra space to do more cases every day, will benefit families in Plymouth, Devon, Cornwall and the wider South West and the teams are all committed to maximise this opportunity.”

Dr Simon Courtman
Dr Simon Courtman, said the unit would help limit travel for treatment for children and their families [BBC]

Dr Courtman also said one of the main drives for the surgical unit was to keep children and families "as close to home as possible".

He said: "We can't do every operation in every hospital for children, it is just not achievable.

"By developing a hub for children and developing this unit, we are certainly going to keep more children local in Devon and Cornwall."

The trust said the new unit would increase the amount of surgery for children University Hospitals Plymouth can deliver each year.

"Additional operating theatre spaces will enable the unit to support the ongoing increased need for surgery for children following the pandemic, particularly Ear Nose Throat (ENT) and dental services who have seen a surge in demand," said the hospital.

"It will support not only the recovery of children’s surgery in the Plymouth area, but also across the wider Devon and Cornwall region."

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