Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd visited Rochdale Infirmary’s new 14 bed surgical ward recently where he was welcomed by staff including Rochdale Care Organisation chief officer Steve Taylor.
Tony was taken on a tour of the facilities to understand how the Pioneer Ward supports a wide range of surgical activity including gynaecology, urology, breast surgery, oral surgery, orthopaedics and general surgery.
This new facility ensures that patients can recover from short stay and overnight surgery including cancer surgeries. It is open seven days a week and staffed by colleagues from the day surgery team with medical and nursing students also working on the ward.
Steve said: “This is a great development for Rochdale and complements the fabulous work our teams already do here.”
Tony said: "The Pioneer Ward is a major new development which builds on the day surgery facilities that Rochdale Infirmary has developed in recent years.
“The ward allows day patients and overnight patients to be out of hospital as quickly as possible having had their surgery. The range of work across a number of specialities I think would surprise people in Rochdale.
“Rochdale is delivering high quality healthcare, supported by a dedicated staff both medical and non-medical. It's good news for Rochdale, and it's good news for people across Greater Manchester.”
The ward cares for patients from across the Northern Care Alliance NHS Trust’s footprint in Salford, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale, as well as providing a service for patients to have their treatments at a weekend as part of a wider Greater Manchester offer. This is particularly helpful as a way to ensure that treatments delayed over covid have now recommenced.
Community CKD research
After the tour, Steve and research ambassador Dr Stuart Stewart, presented a session about chronic kidney disease research work that is taking place in the Rochdale community.
Tony added: “Rochdale Infirmary is also looking at innovative ways to improve population health through delivering home grown Research. Their first research project is well underway which is looking at the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on patients with chronic kidney disease – a major risk factor for becoming seriously unwell with COVID-19 infection.”
Supporting local employment
With the recent surgical developments on the Rochdale site, such as the ward opening, theatres now being operational over seven days, this has created significant employment opportunities to the local population with the creation of around 100 new roles, with a range of clinical, administrative and support staff required.
The Rochdale surgical team has recently been successful in getting to the final stages of the Health Service Journal awards within the category of the “Safe Restoration of Elective Care.” This is as a result of being the first in the country to introduce lateral flow testing on the day of surgery, saving patients three days of isolation time prior to surgery.
This has influenced the wider infection control policies in Greater Manchester and is now commonly adopted as a best practice model. The results will be announced at the awards ceremony in September.