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New operating theatres on the way

Three new theatres are being built at Addenbrooke's to help ease waiting lists for routine knee and hip operations.

The plans are part of a national scheme to deliver more than 50 new surgical hubs across England, providing a total of around 100 more operating theatres and 1,000 more beds.

In total it's estimated the new hubs will deliver almost two million extra routine operations to reduce waiting lists over the next three years, backed by £1.5 billion in government funding.

Nurse in theatre

With three new theatres dedicated to orthopaedic surgery we will be able to carry out many more operations such as hip and knee replacements, reducing waiting times for patients and improving their quality of life.

Dr Ewen Cameron, Director of Improvements and Transformation at CUH

The new theatres at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) are being built on a site opposite the Rosie Hospital, alongside P and Q wards which were opened in Oct 2021.

These wards will in turn provide dedicated surgical beds for patients recovering from planned operations, carried out in the new theatres.

With this new surgical hub separate from the main hospital and emergency services, many more routine operations can be carried out and without delays and short-notice cancellations.

Building work is expected to start in the next few months, alongside recruitment to staff the new hub.

Nurse in Ward Q2
Inside Q ward

Surgical hubs are a really tangible example of how we are already innovating and expanding capacity to fill surgical gaps right across the country

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay

The new surgical hubs across England will focus mainly on providing high volume low complexity surgery, as previously recommended by the Royal College of Surgeons of England, with particular emphasis on ophthalmology, general surgery, trauma and orthopaedics (including spinal surgery), gynaecology, ear nose and throat, and urology.

Located on existing hospital sites, surgical hubs bring together skills and expertise of staff under one roof – reducing waiting times for some of the most common procedures such as cataract surgeries and hip replacements.

These operations can be performed quickly and effectively in one place.

Improving quality and efficiency will mean patients have shorter waits for surgery, will be more likely to go home on the same day, and will be less likely to need additional treatment after surgery.

Ward P2 entrance
Wards P and Q will be ring fenced to provide surgical beds for the new theatres

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:

“In order to bust the Covid backlogs and keep pace with future demands, we can’t simply have business as usual. Surgical hubs are a really tangible example of how we are already innovating and expanding capacity to fill surgical gaps right across the country, to boost the number of operations and reduce waiting times for vital procedures.

“We have already made progress in tackling the longest waiting lists to offer patients quicker access to treatment, and these new surgical hubs will in their own right deliver additional operations over the next three years, including over 200,000 this year alone."