Modernising our Facilities
We are determined to provide the most advanced healthcare in the most advanced facilities possible and, in addition to the projects outlined above, the transformation of our estate has continued apace during the last 12 months with two other projects.
Bradford Royal Infirmary’s flagship new lecture theatre - whose hi-tech facilities will help all staff stay at the forefront of healthcare innovation - was officially opened by Professor Lord Robert Winston.
This purpose-designed theatre is a focal point for enhancing the skills and expertise of our staff. It will play a key role in helping them to keep pace with the fast-moving world of medicine - translating their learning into all wards and departments so that patient care benefits as a result.
As part of widening access to healthcare advice, a new Cancer Information Centre has opened within the main entrance of Bradford Royal Infirmary.
Enhancing Patient Care
One highly visible way in which we have improved patient care is the creation of our new £10m ward block at Bradford Royal Infirmary, which welcomed its first patients at the turn of the calendar year.
We believe it is the fastest build of its scale in the NHS. Located between wards 20 and 21 and the dining room, the development provides facilities for two elderly care and medical wards.
Each cares for patients in 24 single rooms with en-suite facilities, and four-bed bays, each with its own bathroom. The three-storey building is playing an important role in helping us manage the extra pressures and demands on our services that we face, particularly during the winter period.
Improving our capabilities and increasing our capacity have been twin themes that summarise the progress that has been made by each of our hospital departments over the past 12 months. A selection of key developments is outlined here:
A new pain management centre has opened at St Luke’s Hospital. It includes a treatment area for the nurse-led TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) pain relief clinic and other supporting facilities. Cancer Our falls prevention project on ward 7 has seen falls more than halve from 37 in 2007 to just 16 in 2008.
Head and Neck
A new macular centre at St Luke’s Hospital has added an extra dimension to our work. From the new unit, the ophthalmology (eye) team provides Anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) treatments to slow down vision loss. We have opened a Listening for Life Centre to maintain and develop the dramatically lifechanging work of the Yorkshire Cochlear Implant Service, which, thanks to its success, has grown over the years. The centre uses state-of-the-art equipment to improve the diagnosis, rehabilitation and education of cochlear implant patients from across the whole of Yorkshire. The centre was opened as the service reached an important milestone - its 500th cochlear implant patient.
Patient care was improved by the replacement of outdated equipment with more modern alternatives, particularly in ultrasound. This investment in new equipment was complemented by the refurbishment of our facilities and improvements in waiting times and waiting lists.
We launched a refractory angina service for heart patients - a specialist service offering treatments over and above what is usually needed to control the symptoms caused by the narrowing of the coronary arteries. There have also been staffing improvements in the fields of neurophysiology and diabetes.
Further progress has been made in driving down outpatient waiting times. In April 2007, six of our 14 consultants had a 12-week wait for a patient’s first appointment. By January 2009, just two of our consultants exceeded that date. The approval of two additional consultant points (specialising in foot and ankle, and upper limb) will help accelerate further progress in the area of waiting times.
We have expanded our surgical expertise by appointing our third upper GI (gastro-intestinal) consultant, our second hepatologist (liver medicine), and our fi fth colorectal surgeon (bowels). We have piloted new techniques in breast reconstruction and the treatment of varicose veins. Major developments have also taken place to strengthen our role as a national training centre for laparoscopic colorectal surgery (keyhole bowel surgery). We have completely refurbished our general surgical theatres (7 and 8) and equipped these with the latest technology and equipment available. Facilities include video conferencing, telemedicine and an education seminar room in the theatre suite. This will greatly improve both patient care and surgical training. Furthermore, in conjunction with Storz UK, we have developed a laparoscopic training room with four laparoscopic stations and will commence further basic and advanced surgical training courses over the next 12 months.
Women and Children’s Services
We won the “Excellence in Recruitment and Retention” prize in the Royal College of Midwives’ annual awards for our work in inspiring students, particularly those of South Asian origin, to seek out a career in midwifery and the wider NHS.
Developing our Health Research Role
Health research is the lifeblood of the NHS - and we have further developed our role in this important area. Research grant income has increased by 52 per cent to £1.8m and income from the National Institute for Health Research has also been lifted to more than £1.2m. One example of major grants received is that of £2m, over four years, to the ground-breaking Born in Bradford (BiB) study to explore the prevention of childhood obesity in the local community. Another high-profile research project has been inspired by soccer legend Bobby Moore - and sees us working with other major centres in the fight.