The unit, which closed in March following the Covid-19 outbreak so staff could be redeployed to support the emergency response at Addenbrooke’s, will open on Monday (27 July).
Initially it will only treat patients who do not require a general anaesthetic. Operations involving general anaesthetic are likely to come on stream in around six weeks’ time, when it is hoped that all Ely unit staff and vital equipment transferred to Addenbrooke’s will no longer be needed.
The unit, which will have rigorous social distancing and other safety measures in place, covers a whole host of surgical specialties.
The re-opening is a proud moment for the team which took the tough decision to close the unit so dedicated staff could help colleagues at Addenbrooke’s dealing with the pandemic.
Nurses and health care assistants joined colleagues in critical care, main theatres and Covid wards, often moving to different departments at a moment’s notice to help out. Admin staff joined areas like main critical care and theatres reception to lend a hand.
Ely Day Surgery Unit operations manager, Samantha Lear, said: “I cannot begin to describe how proud I am of the team. We were scattered right across the hospital with everyone giving it 100 per cent from day one.
“Now it is all hands to the pump getting Ely back open for business and seeing all those patients whose treatment has been on hold since March. We thank them for their understanding.
“We hope to be fully operational in six weeks, although factors like social distancing will impact on numbers. We anticipate treating around eight to ten patients a day, compared with last year’s average of 14.
“Patients can help us increase numbers by arranging in advance their timely transport home so trolleys and seating are free as soon as possible. Please do not contact us about your surgery, since we will contact you.”
Image: Some of the Ely team, picture taken before social distancing requirements
About Cambridge University Hospitals
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) is one of the largest and best known trusts in the country, delivering high-quality patient care through Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Hospitals. CUH is a leading national centre for specialist treatment for rare or complex conditions and a university teaching hospital with a worldwide reputation.
CUH is a key partner in Cambridge University Health Partners (CUHP), one of only six academic health science centres in the UK, and is at the heart of the development of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC), which brings together on one site world-class biomedical research, patient care and education. As part of the Campus development, Papworth Hospital is creating a bespoke, purpose-built hospital, and AstraZeneca is building a new global R&D centre and corporate headquarters. The Campus is one of the government’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) comprehensive biomedical research centres.