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North Midlands Hand Centre welcomes first patients to County Hospital

Patients requiring hand surgery will have a shorter wait for their procedures thanks to the opening of a new dedicated day-case facility.

The North Midlands Hand Centre welcomed its first patients yesterday at County Hospital in Stafford, with the aim of providing state-of-the-art treatment whilst reducing the waiting list for hand surgery at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM).

Up to eight operations will take place each day at the purpose-built centre on a range of conditions including carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, ORIF of wrist, trapeziectomy and ganglions.

Welcoming patients into the centre Sister Sarah Barber said: “It was absolutely brilliant to see our first patients walk through the door this morning. The facilities here are first-class and patients can expect a warm welcome from our passionate and skilled staff.

“This really is the future of hand surgery at UHNM, with many procedures carried out laparoscopically, which results in us being able to treat patients as a day case with less pain and a quicker recovery time. The fact this is a stand-alone centre also means we no longer have to find beds for our hand patients to recover in in other parts of the hospital, freeing up spaces for other cases.”

Kathryn Carpenter, 79, from Bignall End was the very first patient to walk through the door at the new North Midlands Hand Centre, having suffered from carpal tunnel for a number of years.

Prior to the Centre she would have faced a longer wait for treatment at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, and was discharged just two hours after arriving for her procedure.

Kathryn said: “My carpal tunnel was causing me to have trouble sleeping at night thanks to the ongoing pins and needles. I’ve been very impressed with these new facilities, and it was very interesting to have the operation done under a local anaesthetic- I wanted to see more of what was going on!”

As well as a state-of-the-art operating theatre, the Centre also features modern and comfortable changing facilities and a well-equipped recovery room.

The opening of the North Midlands Hand Centre at County Hospital follows the ribbon cutting of the Staffordshire Treatment Suite in May, providing quicker access to a range of day-case surgeries.

Tracy Bullock, Chief Executive at UHNM said: “I was really delighted to be here on the opening day of the North Midlands Hand Centre, and to meet our first patient as she was leaving after her treatment. It’s great news that we’ve got a purpose-built facility that runs smoothly and efficiently, keeping our waiting times down.

“Along with the recently opened Staffordshire Treatment Suite, I hope people are starting to see the major investments that have been made at County Hospital over the past year. Ophthalmology, breast care, bariatrics and orthopaedics have all been heavily invested in over the past 18 months or so, as we develop our services here at County Hospital so it has a sure and sustainable future and is part of our long-term strategy as an organisation.”


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