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NHS High Intensity Theatres.

(36 Posts)
MerylStreep Mon 11-Dec-23 14:28:10

A big breakthrough in using hospital theatres effectively.
It sounds wonderful but how did it take till 2023 to get to this system. It’s not rocket science. Or am I missing something.

argymargy Mon 11-Dec-23 14:36:38

I’m not clicking through to the Daily Mail. Could you give us a clue what the “breakthrough” is?

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 11-Dec-23 14:39:42

Are you afraid that the DM might infect your device argymargy? If you want to know, click!

MerylStreep Mon 11-Dec-23 14:40:40


I’m not clicking through to the Daily Mail. Could you give us a clue what the “breakthrough” is?

Please yourself 🤷‍♀️

Witzend Mon 11-Dec-23 14:50:51

It’s in today’s Times, too.

‘Two operating theatres run side by side, and as soon as one procedure is finished the next is already under anaesthetic and ready to be wheeled in. Nurses are on standby to sterilise the operating theatre and instead of taking 40 minutes between cases it takes less than two. The only delay is the 30 seconds it takes for the antibacterial cleaning fluid to work.’

Jaxjacky Mon 11-Dec-23 14:58:52

Good news.
What exactly is ‘rocket science’ it’s a much used phrase, often in a patronising manner?

Siope Mon 11-Dec-23 15:09:28

I think it’s a good idea for quick, straightforward procedures, which won’t then require specialised or intensive aftercare, or lengthy post-op stays, because there are too few nurses/HCPs and beds to manage a large number of higher need cases.

It also, presumably, will only work where you have enough operating theatres and staff that aren’t used for emergencies.

As for why it hasn’t been done before: I could hazard a guess that in a properly resourced system, it wasn’t necessary.

BigBertha1 Mon 11-Dec-23 15:17:20

Ideal for day cases and it has been raised with surgeons many times but I don't know how much research has gone into surgeon fatigue in these situations. Afterall its what happens in a 'MASH' type theatre.

Grantanow Mon 11-Dec-23 15:27:24

It must mean the surgeons operate continuously back and forth between theatres. Is this safe given the effect of fatigue?

Parsley3 Mon 11-Dec-23 15:36:46

Surely the same surgeons don't do every procedure.

M0nica Mon 11-Dec-23 15:54:19

Presumably the surgeons will work shifts. I think the article said that these HIT operating theatres would just run at weekends.

Siope Mon 11-Dec-23 16:08:49

It appears that it’s weekends only, and monthly. The surgical team obviously operate within their specialism - breast reconstruction, prostate surgery, and knee replacements, are specifically mentioned in the article - and the “lead surgeon 'is bouncing from one theatre to the next doing the critical phase of the operation' with more junior surgeons assisting”.

Nanatoone Mon 11-Dec-23 16:13:42

Didn’t Geoffrey Robinson try to get surgeons to do this years ago? I remember a programme where he looked at the processes within the NHS and offered process changes but was defeated by the negative support from the surgeons. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong but I do remember feeling shocked at how little people wanted to improve the systems.

Grandmama Wed 13-Dec-23 11:18:40

Several letters in today's Times from surgeons who used this system effectively in the past.

SWT61 Wed 13-Dec-23 11:32:20

Why so rude?

JdotJ Wed 13-Dec-23 11:45:37

I'm sure this has been done in the past - years ago, well before Covid so no idea why it ground to a halt

nexus63 Wed 13-Dec-23 11:54:50

this would be fantastic if they rolled this out with all hospitals in the uk, but you need the surgeons to give up some of the private patients that they see at the weekend.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 13-Dec-23 12:58:46

Well, this is one way of reducing waiting-lists.

Another is scrapping the five-day week, which is what Danish hospitals are doing right now with teams of surgeons and theatre nurses and anaestesia teams working week ends on routinge procedures, instead of operating theatres being closed at weekends for anything apart from emergencies.

Obviously, theses teams have time off during the week instead of at the week-end.

TheMaggiejane1 Wed 13-Dec-23 13:03:50

My 13 year old granddaughter is having major surgery next week - I’d hate to think the aim of the day was to fit as many operations in as possible!

Lizzie44 Wed 13-Dec-23 13:11:28

Sounds efficient. My only concern would be whether it would overtax doctors and other staff. Heard this fast moving system described on the news yesterday as like a pit stop in Formula 1. Wouldn't want to take that analogy too far.

Norah Wed 13-Dec-23 13:28:21

Well planned and run efficiently, I think it's a good idea.

Like any business things are made ready for the one who actually does the work, no waiting around doing nothing.

Patient is made ready, all minutia accomplished, surgeon comes in after patient is asleep, does the surgery, changes/cleans/sterilizes, moves on to next person. What's not to love about efficiency?

readsalot Wed 13-Dec-23 15:20:35

I had X-rays done 8.30am on a Saturday morning over August bank holiday. The staff were working flat out all three days to catch up. Wonderful.

ExaltedWombat Wed 13-Dec-23 15:51:32

>After one patient's operation is completed, the second is brought in and has already been anaesthetised

Sounds like my op at UCLH a year ago, though there was just one team and one theatre. I was tubed up in an anteroom, chatted for a bit then "looks like they're nearly done with the last one - sleepy time!" and wheeled in. I don't think there was much wasted time. Don't know if 'my' anaesthesiologist stayed with me throughout or handed me over to the theatre one.

Beware of doors in hospitals decorated with Disney stickers. Scary 'procedures' lie behind them!

silverlining48 Wed 13-Dec-23 16:10:35

Also wondered about hygiene given only a few minutes allowed to clean between patients.

Callistemon21 Wed 13-Dec-23 16:11:20


I’m not clicking through to the Daily Mail. Could you give us a clue what the “breakthrough” is?