Councillor Tina Mountain, Rosemary Najim and I were given a guided tour of the Day Surgery Unit and EOC centre after our meeting with Dr Ruth Charlton, Deputy Chief Executive and Joint Medical Director, and Helena Reeves, Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, who explained that while the finances are tight the Trust are hoping to break even at the end of the year.
Helena Reeves kindly showed us round the Day Surgery Unit that was opened by the Duchess of Gloucester on Thursday, September 27, 2012. The £2.5 million day case unit has six beds in each ward, and is in the top four in the country. They cover many different types of elective surgery with 84 per cent of patients going home the same day. They have 12-14 000 day case operations, including paediatrics, a year.
We were also shown around the EOC, which is supported by four different NHS Trusts and is the largest in the UK and second largest in the world. They cover orthopaedic surgery, with special interest surgeons in hip, knee and spine. They have five theatres, which do on average six to eight surgeries a day. They also work on Saturdays with an average of twenty-five surgeries, which they want to increase. They have 72 beds in total, split into two main wards. They have one nurse to eight patients with their own physiotherapists that see patients two to three times a day. Their infection rate is very good and the unit is led by Senior Consultants, in fact they are all consultants with a minimum of ten years experience. As we were shown round we all felt that we were very lucky to have such a fine NHS facility in Epsom.