Surgeons in a London hospital have performed a week’s worth of operations in a single day, pioneering a technique that could be used to help reduce the NHS backlog.
The team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital performed eight robot assisted radical prostatectomy operations in under ten hours, the highest number performed in a single day in the UK in one hospital.
High Intensity Theatre lists (HIT) focus on one procedure at a time and seek to minimise the turnaround time between operations. Using two theatres, the surgeon can go between cases without having to wait for a patient to come in. This helps to cut the significant amount of time it takes for medics to anaesthetise a patient, set up equipment in the theatre and help them to recover – a process which sometimes takes longer than the operation itself.
The team at Guy’s assembled a large team for the HIT list, which took place on 8 October. Each theatre had a team of around 1.5 times its usual size and staff were given very specific roles.
By the time the list had reached the third patient, the turnaround time between operations had dropped as low as 32 seconds. Behind the scenes, staff in the control room used Proximie software to monitor activity in the theatre in real time.
Dr Ben Challacombe, a consultant urological surgeon who performed the operations with his surgical consultant colleagues Paul Cathcart, Christian Brown, and Prokar Dasgupta, told the Standard that the success of the HIT list had given staff a “huge” morale boost.
“Everyone pulled together to do the job, it really helped to energise the team. Morale has been hit by Covid and other issues, but people feel galvanised by doing something different.”
Source: Evening Standard, 29 October 2022
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