Patients in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) suffering with certain types of hernia can now be treated in a primary care setting thanks to a new operating theatre at The County Practice in Syston.
The County Practice is the only one in LLR to offer this service and will mean that a significant number of patients will now be able to have their operations closer to home.
Opened formally by Charnwood MP Edward Argar (pictured, centre, with Drs Mathew Wordsworth and Gareth Chidlow), the £62,000 Wilson Theatre Suite has been made possible through investment from The County Practice as well as funding from Charnwood Borough Council and Davidsons Homes, under their planning contributions for health infrastructure to reflect the needs of the new housing development being built in the area.
Good news for patients
Dr Gareth Chidlow, GP at The County Practice, said: “We are really proud of our new operating theatre; we can now offer hernia surgery under local anaesthetic and for many patients it avoids the need to travel in to one of the main Leicester hospitals.
“This service isn’t just for patients in Syston; patients can choose to be treated here if they live anywhere in LLR and the feedback we have received so far has been really positive. In future there’s also the potential for further procedures to be carried out here, as we have both preoperative and recovery rooms and that is something we are really excited about.”
The service is provided through the LLR Alliance, a unique partnership of health organisations in LLR, designed to offer patients more choice about when and where they receive day-case and outpatient treatment.
More choice, closer to home
Helen Mather, LLR Alliance Director, said: “This new operating theatre is a fantastic example of what the Alliance is all about - offering patients more choice about where and when they can receive their diagnosis, treatment and the aftercare. We offer diagnostics, outpatient services and day-case surgery in community hospitals and in an increasing number of GP practices across LLR.
“Patients consistently tell us that they prefer not having to go into one of the big city hospitals if possible, and we have made a significant difference to local patients, bringing care closer to people's homes.”
Edward Argar MP said: "It was a pleasure to officially open the Wilson Theatre Suite at Syston Health Centre with David Wilson, Dr Chidlow, and the fantastic team at the County Practice.
“GP services like those at the Syston Health Centre are the heart of our NHS, providing all of our communities with the local health care that they rely upon, with their dedicated staff teams constantly innovating to improve the care offered to patients.
“The new theatre suite will enable even more minor surgery to take place locally, meaning patients will be able to have more problems treated nearer to home, more conveniently for them, and more quickly."
Local patients were involved in reviewing the plans for the new operating theatre. Eric Charlesworth, Co-Chair of the Alliance Patient and Public Participation Group (PPPG), said: “The development of this new service is an excellent example of how the NHS, actively supported by patients, can bring about change that is both cost effective and results in improved services. Members of the PPPG were involved from the outset and it is very gratifying to see this new facility up and running.”