NNUH Ambulatory Procedures Unit opens

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Trust has opened its new £2.9m Ambulatory Procedure Unit, specialising in procedures for patients with hand trauma.

As part of our extensive building improvement programme, the unit has some of the most advanced equipment housed in three neutral pressure treatment rooms, as well as associated support areas to expand on the Vanguard unit which currently sits outside the main hospital.

The new unit will see significant improvements for our patients as its increased capacity will mean a dedicated team will be able to carry out more procedures for patients who need localised anaesthetics, which are currently being carried out by general theatre staff. That will in turn free up the general theatre staff to concentrate on more complex procedures.

Sarah Bullock and Tom Barber Deputy Team Leaders for the unit said that they are really excited to finally be in the unit after months of planning. Sarah said: “The team we are leading is great. Everyone is so enthusiastic and highly motivated. We think it is such a wonderful new unit that will ensure patients have a really positive experience throughout.”

Nick Sheppard, Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgeon, said: We are delighted to have the Ambulatory Procedure Unit up and running and to be able to provide a walk-in, walk-out service for hand surgery patients. Hand trauma patients can now have their surgery on the day of attendance without waiting for space on busy main-theatre operating lists.”

He added: “Locating elective and trauma hand surgery in one area allows the anaesthetic teams to work more efficiently and to provide a specialised regional anaesthetic service. We have found that this approach greatly improved our efficiency during a trial period and the Trust has got behind the initiative to provide the Norwich Hand Unit with a permanent facility.

“Our new team of nurses, operating department practitioners, theatre support workers, physician’s associates and doctors is really coming together. They are adopting a flexible, dynamic approach to a unique patient group and a busy service. The new facility allows greater interaction between orthopaedic and plastic surgery specialists in hand surgery which increases our scope for clinical excellence, research and training.”

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