A £7million refurbishment of four operating theatres at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Haywards Heath has been completed, which will see more patients treated more quickly, giving them a better experience and helping to cut post-Covid waiting lists.
The work began more than two years ago and while the Covid-19 pandemic delayed project plans, the four modernised theatres have been completed and are now up and running.
The PRH theatres were all more than 30 years old, and clinicians believe the new look will lead to better patient and staff experiences, and the hi-tech rooms will also provide medical and nursing students with ‘live’ training that wasn’t available before.
Sarah French, Senior Clinical Theatre Manager at PRH, which is part of University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The theatres needed some TLC. The whole environment needed modernising. We are now using laminar flow system across the four theatres. It means that we can use the theatres in a flexible way and carry out more operations. We can see more patients in much better environments, leading to a better experience for patients and the people treating them.
“The fact that we now have a consistent, standardised environment across all our theatres here also makes theatre work safer.
“The patient is our number one priority so it is great that we have completely modernised four operating theatres. After the delays caused by Covid it is great to see the theatres up and running.”
UHSussex is one of the largest teaching Trusts in the country and the modernisation of the theatres also means an improved learning experience for students from the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, who train at the hospitals across the Trust.
“There are high-tech camera’s in the lighting, this means that patients can participate in the educational needs of our students, as the students can watch the operations, securely, live on nearby screens. In time we hope to make this a virtual experience they can experience in the classroom,” added Sarah.