Fast-track NHS surgery in the capital

Health leaders are urging Londoners to come forward to get the help they need from the NHS, as new surgical hubs are launched across the city.

Twenty-nine types of operations – including cataract removal, hysterectomies, and hip and knee replacements – will be delivered from fast-track surgical hubs at multiple locations across London, substantially boosting the amount of planned surgery that can be carried out over coming months.

This will help get patients back on the road to health and recovery, and reduce the numbers waiting for surgery.

The surgical hubs will be on existing hospital sites in coronavirus secure environments, with dedicated facilities bringing skills and resources together under one roof, with staff caring only for surgical patients to minimise the risk of infection.

By undertaking large numbers of the same procedure every day, NHS clinicians will streamline care and ensure patients get the best possible results.

The latest move to accelerate routine services after the first wave of the virus will mean emergency and routine care are kept separate, to minimise chances of infection and secure best value from available health service resources.

Since treating around 110,000 patients with Covid during the peak, hospitals in England have since doubled the amount of operations being delivered, while other services are also returning to pre-pandemic levels, including radiotherapy for cancer and emergency admissions.

NHS England London Medical Director, Dr Vin Diwakar, said:

“While we kept emergency and urgent care going throughout the pandemic, people who need routine surgery are increasingly able to get it thanks to practical and safe redesign of services like cataract and knee operations.

“I am delighted the NHS in London is launching a new approach to many common procedures which will massively boost the number of people we can treat and reduce waiting lists.

“Anyone invited by the NHS for treatment should come and get it as our services are safe and while everyone needs to respect national guidance on social distancing, it’s vital that anyone who needs care, seeks it when they need it.”

The plans for the hubs were discussed with Londoners of different backgrounds from all parts of the capital who backed the approach, with support offered for people who need to travel.