Topping out ceremony at new multimillion-pound surgical centre
The final bolts have been tightened on a new multimillion-pound orthopaedic hub which will start treating patients from across the region in spring next year.
The Rt Hon Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, visited Maidstone Hospital today (Friday 3 November) to see the development of the Kent and Medway Orthopaedic Centre and take part in a ‘topping out’ ceremony to celebrate the new building reaching its highest point.
The centre will provide three state-of-the-art operating theatres and 24 dedicated surgical beds. It will expand Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust’s capacity for routine orthopaedic operations including more than 2000 extra knee and hip replacements each year, transforming care for Kent and Medway patients who need planned surgery on bones, joints and muscles. The theatre complex is located behind the main hospital building and will focus on orthopaedic care for patients, helping deliver many more operations for patients across Kent and Medway, and reducing the length of time patients stay in hospital.
Against a backdrop of increasing demand, new ways of working have helped the Trust ensure patients in the region receive some of the fastest access to treatment in the country. MTW is one of the few trusts to have no long waiting patients and is the first trust in the UK to offer pioneering new reconstructive knee surgery to young patients. This innovative approach will continue in the new theatre complex and include cutting edge treatments such as day case joint replacement surgery where patients are able to have their operation and go home the same day.
The development is part of a national scheme to deliver more than 50 new surgical hubs across England. It is 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.
Miles Scott, the Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “The Kent and Medway Orthopaedic Centre already looks impressive, and once finished it will expand our surgical capacity and help us do more for our patients. This new facility will make a huge difference for patients across Kent and Medway who are waiting for surgery and may be struggling to stay active, by helping them access expert care faster.”
Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, said: “I was so pleased to be able to visit the new Kent and Medway Orthopaedic Centre and see this investment in our healthcare. I know this will benefit patients across the region and tackle waiting lists which built up during the pandemic.
“Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust was the first in the country to have no long-waiting patients for routine treatment, thanks to the hard work of its staff. This new centre will build on this success and ensure more people can access life-changing operations more quickly.”
A recruitment campaign for the centre is underway and around 200 theatre staff, nurses, therapists, and administrative and support roles are being recruited.
Main photo, l-r: Dr Andy Taylor, Consultant Anaesthetist; Miles Scott, Chief Executive of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust; Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells; Mr Lee David, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Clinical Director for Trauma & Orthopaedics.