New theatre for breast surgery and other procedures to open at Leigh Infirmary

Wigan’s hospital bosses have secured funding to open a new theatre for breast surgery and other day case procedures.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) will use the money to build additional theatre capacity at Leigh Infirmary, which is planned to open next autumn.

The announcement comes just two months after plans were revealed for a £10m community diagnostic centre at the hospital to provide more access to medical tests and quicker diagnoses for patients.

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Chief executive Silas Nicholls said: “This new development is just one part of the trust’s programme of investment into patient services at Leigh Infirmary, to expand on our and provide a modern ‘one stop shop’ diagnostics and healthcare facility.

A new theatre for breast surgery and other day case procedures will be opened at Leigh Infirmary

“The work to build the additional theatre is due to start this week, alongside the complementary community diagnostic centre scheme. This new surgical hub facility will expand the range of procedures which can be undertaken at Leigh Infirmary, which is fantastic news for our patients and the surrounding area.”

Leigh Infirmary is one of four hospitals in Greater Manchester receiving funding to expand services and treat more patients, as around one in six people in the area are currently waiting for hospital care.

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To help tackle the waiting list backlogs, surgical hubs are being created to bring the skills and expertise of staff under one roof, provide high-volume low-complexity surgery and help to reduce waiting times for some of the most common procedures.

Mr Nicholls added: “WWL staff are working incredibly hard to support those patients waiting to be treated and we are deeply grateful to the hard work and dedication they are providing, as well as the patience and understanding of our patients.”

Theatre and diagnostic services at Rochdale Infirmary and Trafford General Hospital will also be expanded, while The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has received funding to increase ward capacity for patients requiring complex cancer surgery.

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Dr Manisha Kumar, chief medical officer of NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, said: “Staff across the NHS are working hard to treat people as quickly as possible. Surgical hubs are an example of how we are innovating and increasing the number of procedures that can be done to reduce waiting times. In Greater Manchester we have already made progress in tackling the longest waiting lists and the investment will help us treat more patients in Greater Manchester over the next three years.”

Dr Michael Gregory, regional medical director for NHS England – North West said: “Surgical hubs are a vital part of plans to recover elective services across the North West and nationally. This will be a welcome boost in helping us to further tackle the Covid-19 backlogs that have inevitably built up over the pandemic.“NHS staff continue to go the extra mile to make sure our patients are getting the care they need. We know there are significant numbers of patients still waiting to be seen and we will continue to work hard to reduce the time people are waiting for care.”