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Getting back to the ‘new normal’ with 100 surgical day cases at Scarborough

A newly established ‘pop-up’ surgical day unit at Scarborough Hospital has celebrated one hundred surgical day cases in just eight weeks since resuming surgical procedures after Covid-19 disruptions.

The unit has been created on the newly refurbished Haldane Ward in order to resume much-needed urgent planned operations. It took just four weeks to create from scratch and a huge amount of teamwork.

Dr Amanda Vipond, Consultant Anaesthetist, explained: “We have been trying to establish a surgical day unit at Scarborough Hospital for a long time. Our latest plans were slowed down by Covid-19 but the need to start operating on our patients as soon as possible has led us to see the opportunity of using Haldane Ward. We are delighted to be able to offer this to patients and it’s a real breakthrough for day surgery at Scarborough Hospital – it’s actually better than pre-Covid!”

Despite a few teething problems Amanda is delighted with the volume of patients they have been able to treat.

Dr Vipond continued: “We are not used to having so many day surgical patients but being able to operate without having the uncertainty of relying on inpatient beds has been fantastic.  It has involved a lot of learning and planning which has meant new and extended roles for theatre nurses and operating department practitioners. This has been challenging, but everyone has worked a team to make sure we do our best for our patients.”

The team takes extra precautions to be Covid-19 safe for day patients who have to be socially distanced, and staff must wear PPE. The staff on the surgical day unit telephone the patients the day before surgery to ensure they understand the process of being admitted. Patients are collected from the north entrance of the hospital where they have a temperature check at the door and are taken through to the unit.

Claire Jackson, senior operating department practitioner, has helped set up the theatres on the day unit and has witnessed how much change it involved for theatre staff and how quickly they have had to adapt.

Claire said: “Theatre nurses, operating department practitioners and healthcare assistants have been working hard to extend their roles, learning new skills and getting to grips with nursing assessments which some have never done before. This had to be done in a very short amount of time to re-establish urgent elective operating. Thankfully staff are embracing this and working hard as a team to ensure we provide a safe and effective service for patients in our hospital.

“We’re working very hard to make sure patients feel reassured and what they should expect, such as staff in PPE. We answer any worries or concerns before patients come in and the day after surgery ward staff telephone again to ensure all has been OK overnight and the patient is doing well.”

100 surgical day cases

02 September 2020

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