PLANS to bring state-of-the-art robot-assisted surgery to Redditch has taken a step forward with work starting to make an Alexandra Hospital operating theatre robot-ready.
Contractors are on-site, upgrading and refurbishing a theatre so robot-assisted surgery can be used in there when the service goes live later this year.
The work will take around six weeks to complete and will see the theatre floor reinforced so it can take the robot’s weight.
The ventilation system will be upgraded and general refurbishment and redecoration will take place.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is investing over £3.5million in the service which senior clinicians at the Alex aim to begin using for surgery later this year.
A fund-raising appeal in aid of the robotic surgery had already raised around £500,000 before development plans were disrupted by the pandemic.
The new service’s first procedure to be offered will allow men with prostate cancer to have robot-assisted surgery.
Robot-assisted Radical Prostatectomy (RARP) can offer the same or better outcomes, less pain, shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery for prostate cancer patients who can have the surgery.
Currently, around 80 prostate cancer patients a year from Worcestershire have to travel out of the county for this type of surgery.
The Trust’s clinical service lead for Urology, Surgeon Terng Chen said: “After working for many years to bring robot-assisted surgery to Worcestershire, to see work starting on the operating theatre where it will be carried out is another very positive step forward which is great news for our patients and our service.”
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Matthew Hopkins added: “This development is a vital part of our plans for the future of our services and our hospitals and a further demonstration of our commitment to providing the best experience of care and outcomes for our patients.”