Three state-of-the-art operating theatres have been unveiled at Bradford Royal Infirmary after a major refurbishment worth almost £4.5million.
The ultramodern, hi-tech spaces, form part of a five theatre suite part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and give a nod to the local heritage of the past.
Staff were asked to choose a new name for the theatre suite, formerly known as the ENT (ear, nose and throat) theatres, after the make-over and chose to rename them ‘Bronte Theatres’ in homage to the 19th century literary family, born in the village of Thornton and later associated with the village of Haworth.
The theatres now have the latest technology and equipment including touch-screen surgeons’ panels which control, temperature, lighting, ventilation and meet the latest infection prevention and control standards.
The upgrade has taken just under a year to complete, with the revamp beginning in January 2021.
It began with a wholesale replacement of the aging theatre ventilation system, which entailed ripping out hundreds of metres of ducting from the theatre infrastructure – tearing out walls and ceilings in the process. The upshot of this was that rectifying the damage caused meant that the theatre block had to be completely renovated, refurbished and modernised.
Senior Operating Department Practitioner and Team Leader for the Bronte Theatres, Andy Yates said:
These theatres were the oldest in the Trust, dating back to the 1960s and were in need of a significant upgrade and modernisation.
They have now been completely renovated and refurbished and are now airy and bright spaces which have undergone complete decoration, have had new flooring, lighting, air conditioning and have been equipped with all the latest technology.
The touch screens are easily controlled by the theatre staff, to make operating easier for surgeons with the added safety feature of letting people know outside theatres that the theatre is in use or it is not safe to enter due to laser work.
We have also completely refurbished the corridors leading to the theatres to make them less clinical. Around 95 per cent of patients walk to theatre so we wanted these areas to be welcoming and calming. These areas now feature bright and colourful vinyls depicting woodland and natural landscape scenes.
Andy added that the theatres are not just being used for ear, nose and throat surgery but are also being used for ophthalmic, maxillofacial and paediatric surgery too, and that the feedback from patients had been very positive.
Patients have commented on the new spaces. They really like the vinyls with the nature scenes saying that the images put them at their ease. It’s very important for our young patients in particular to feel calm and not afraid. The refurbishment has also been praised by staff who have said they enjoy working in these new up-to-date and modern facilities.
I feel proud to have been involved with this project and I believe these new theatres really inspire confidence in the Trust – both from our patients and colleagues. The theatre refurbishment is just one of a number of improvement programmes we are involved with across our estate.