The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Views invited on latest steps to create a £10m Elective Care Hub at Wharfedale Hospital

25 August 2022

As part of a proposed £10m investment in Wharfedale Hospital to tackle the backlog in planned operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic and create sustainable, long-term planned care services, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is seeking feedback on its latest steps to prepare for building works to begin.

An Elective Care Hub is proposed within the existing footprint of Wharfedale Hospital, and the business case, if approved, includes two new theatres, a recovery area, admissions and discharge area alongside making an existing ward operational overnight. The aim is for this work to be completed in late 2023/early 2024.

The Hub will provide operations including general surgery, minor cancers, urology and benign gynaecology. As part of the development there will be changes with the day unit and phlebotomy services moving into refurbished areas and a dedicated hysteroscopy treatment suite. Overall, the clinical footprint of the area will increase.

To create space for the Hub, the space occupied by endoscopy at Wharfedale will be converted into the new theatres. Therefore the endoscopy unit would close, with services being provided from the main Trust acute sites and other providers across the Leeds area. The locations of the main sites have good road/bus and train connectivity and are therefore accessible for patients requiring endoscopy services.

Members of the public are invited to give their thoughts on the initial plans, and with Endoscopy closing, feed back on the service being provided at the main hospitals in Leeds General Infirmary, St James’s University Hospital or another provider site. This can be done via the Trust’s website: https://www.leedsth.nhs.uk/electivehubs. The closing date for feedback is Thursday 22 September. 

Mr Mark Liddington, Medical Director for Planned Care at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “We are looking to maximise Wharfedale Hospital to its best potential. This proposal demonstrates the Trust’s vision of for the development of Wharfedale Hospital as an important and integral part of our clinical services. 

“By having a dedicated Elective Care Hub away from the main hospital sites we will have capacity which we can confidently use, all year round for planned surgery. Protected from surges in urgent care in winter, the proposal reduces the uncertainty for patients around last minute cancellations and will help to reduce the time patients wait for treatment.

“The Endoscopy service at Wharfedale Hospital is a small but well thought of service that cares for a small number of patients, but is relatively limited in the type of procedure that can be performed there. The endoscopy suites at our main hospitals are better equipped to undertake more complex and urgent procedures which are not feasible at Wharfedale.

“We appreciate that change can impact on people and often in ways we may not have considered, so we welcome feedback over these coming weeks.” 

In September, a mobile theatre will be installed to provide additional short-term theatre capacity while building works are underway.

A more comprehensive public engagement programme – also including plans for a similar Elective Care Hub at Chapel Allerton Hospital – will take place later in 2022 once the business case for Wharfedale Hospital is signed off by the Trust’s Board of Directors.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Endoscopy is a diagnostic service to look inside your body. A long, thin tube with a small camera inside, called an endoscope, is passed into your body through a natural opening such as your mouth. As a diagnostic service, patients do not attend the Endoscopy service at Wharfedale Hospital on an ongoing or regular basis.