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Ely Day Surgery Unit reopens to patients

Ely Day Surgery Unit is to reopen next week in an important step towards reducing the number of patients waiting for surgical procedures, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) announced today (Thurs 23 July).

A group of staff at Ely day surgery unit are standing together smiling at the camera
Some of the team from the Ely day surgery unit (photo taken pre-Covid)

The unit, which closed in March following the Covid-19 outbreak so staff could be redeployed to support the emergency response at Addenbrooke’s, will open on Monday (27 July).

Initially it will only treat patients who do not require a general anaesthetic. Operations involving general anaesthetic are likely to come on stream in around six weeks’ time, when it is hoped that all Ely unit staff and vital equipment transferred to Addenbrooke’s will no longer be needed.

The unit, which will have rigorous social distancing and other safety measures in place, covers a whole host of surgical specialties.

The re-opening is a proud moment for the team which took the tough decision to close the unit so dedicated staff could help colleagues at Addenbrooke’s dealing with the pandemic.

Nurses and health care assistants joined colleagues in critical care, main theatres and Covid wards, often moving to different departments at a moment’s notice to help out. Admin staff joined areas like main critical care and theatres reception to lend a hand.

I cannot begin to describe how proud I am of the team. We were scattered right across the hospital with everyone giving it 100 per cent from day one

Ely Day Surgery Unit operations manager, Samantha Lear.

“Now it is all hands to the pump getting Ely back open for business and seeing all those patients whose treatment has been on hold since March. We thank them for their understanding.

“We hope to be fully operational in six weeks, although factors like social distancing will impact on numbers. We anticipate treating around eight to ten patients a day, compared with last year’s average of 14.

“Patients can help us increase numbers by arranging in advance their timely transport home so trolleys and seating are free as soon as possible. Please do not contact us about your surgery, since we will contact you.”