Speedy surgery concept earns West Suffolk Hospital a gold award

West Suffolk Hospital patient Jackie Collins and her husband Bernie ANL-161214-161433001

West Suffolk Hospital patient Jackie Collins and her husband Bernie ANL-161214-161433001

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A new way of handling operations on minor injuries at West Suffolk Hospital has won a Gold Ward from the British Association of Day Surgery.

The hospital’s ‘day surgery trauma list’ is a new concept in the UK, designed to improve the handling of patients who need surgery quickly but who do not need to wait in a hospital bed while they are being scheduled for their operation.

When patients attend the emergency department with a trauma injury, such as wrist, ankle and finger fractures or removal of foreign bodies, they are now scheduled into West Suffolk Hospital’s day surgery unit instead of the main operating theatre.

This means they can go home rather than wait in a hospital bed and are discharged home again on the same day as they have their operation.

If these procedures were scheduled to take place in a main operating theatre, as in other hospitals, operations risk being cancelled if more urgent cases come in.

Mr Matthew Porteous, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at West Suffolk, said: “This service has been developed here as a more efficient route to surgery for patients experiencing a trauma.

“The key to success is pain management, and giving our patients the relevant information. We inject a local anaesthetic to the affected trauma site after the procedure is finished so that patients still have pain relief for hours after they have been operated on.

“This means they can go home comfortably within the day,

“We’re now helping other hospitals introduce this innovation for their own services.”

Staff nurse Kelly Overton presented the concept to the British Association of Day Surgery and secured the gold award at the event, coming top of the 30 trusts attending.

Jackie Collins, 54, was treated this way after falling over and hurting her wrist.

She said: “The speed at which I was seen and operated on was amazing and it couldn’t have gone any better.”