The South West Ambulatory Orthopaedic Centre (SWAOC) has reached another major milestone in its ground-breaking work to develop innovative new orthopaedic pathways, deliver exceptional patient care, and help reduce waiting times in the region.
As well as offering operations for hips, knees and foot and ankle, SWAOC, which is based at the NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter, is now providing elective spinal surgery for patients in Devon, with the Exeter spinal service undertaking the first operating list at the centre on 17 October 2023.
The focus of spinal lists at SWAOC are predominantly day-case procedures, so patients will usually be able to have this life-changing surgery without the need for an overnight stay.
Mr Henry Budd, Consultant Spinal Surgeon at the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who undertook the first operation at SWAOC, said: “Our first patient was discharged in the early afternoon as a result of surgical, anaesthetic, nursing, therapy and administrative services coming together to create a new pathway that provides optimised spinal care. We look forward to offering this to many more patients in Devon with surgically-treatable sciatica.
“This service has been uniquely funded through collaboration between the region’s acute hospital providers to assist elective recovery, secure operating during the winter, and provide patients suffering with debilitating sciatica the treatment they need. It has also been strongly supported by the national Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) program and the Devon Integrated Care System.”
Mr Al-Amin Kassam, Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal Devon, and Joint Clinical Lead Surgeon for SWAOC, said: “We know how much spinal disorders can affect your quality of life, especially if you’ve been on a waiting list for a long time, so to be able to offer these elective spinal surgeries to our patients will really help to make a difference and improve their lives.”
The state-of-the-art centre, which is a GIRFT accredited surgical hub and an NJR Quality Data Provider, has seen over 1,800 people across Devon since it opened in March 2022, offering vital operations to the local population.
Chris Crow, Divisional Director for the NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter, said: “It’s fantastic that we are able to continue to expand the services we can offer here at the Nightingale. Alongside the incredible work being done by the Centre of Excellence for Eyes and the Devon Diagnostic Centre, SWAOC is making a real difference to long-waiting patients in Devon and beyond.
“It’s always been our ambition to offer spinal surgery here, so this is a huge testament to the dedication and ambition of everyone involved. This is a brilliant step forward for us and for our patients, and will help ensure everyone gets the care they need.”
Last updated: November 08, 2023