The President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England) has praised University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (UHDB) colleagues for a 'thoroughly interesting and enjoyable visit' last month in which he spoke to our leading surgeons and teams, learnt about the strategic investments in our 'impressive portfolio' of state-of-the-art surgical technology and facilities, and discussed the NHS landscape for the surgical profession.
UHDB welcomed Tim Mitchell, President, and Andrew Reed, CEO of RCS England at both Royal Derby Hospital and Queen's Hospital Burton in January 2024 to meet with the teams at the forefront of delivering innovative and advanced surgical care for patients across Derbyshire and East Staffordshire.
The Trust has strengthened the surgery division by investing in high-specification surgical technology, leading and participating in national research, and developing innovative new models of care which help treat more patients, with better quality care and reduce their length of stay in hospital.
The president and colleagues from RCS England toured our surgical simulation centre and hybrid theatre, learnt about cutting-edge research, innovations and service improvements at UHDB such as the High Intensity Tonsillectomy clinic and the FIRST trial, and visited our nationally recognised Pulvertaft Hand Centre, where colleagues shared our vision for the future. Highlights of the day included:
- Resuscitation and clinical skills manager, Dave Jones, and clinical tutors Mo Elreidy and Peter Cull demonstrated some of the aids used at QHB's surgical simulation centre to create an immersive and practical learning experience for surgeons-in-training including virtual reality and virtual simulation technology >, and an artificial surgical ward which helps future healthcare professional develop non-technical skills.
- Claire Chisolm, Interim Divisional Director of Surgery led a visit to the QHB surgical treatment centre where Tim and Andrew spoke to consultants and surgeons about the future developments within surgery, the NHS and opportunities to expand on the work taking place at UHDB.
- John Quarmby, Consultant Vascular Surgeon and Gill Tierney, Consultant Surgeon discussed the collaboration between surgical and radiology teams on joint cases to help make our hybrid theatre model > a success. Tim heard about the training opportunities available to students particularly aneurysm procedures and the high-spec equipment used to aid in more precise surgery, such as the Da Vinci robot and MAKO robots >.
- Tim Cresswell, Consultant Hand, Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon and Jill Arrowsmith, Consultant Hand Surgeon met with Tim to introduce the Pulvertaft Hand Centre. The centre is one of the country's 'premier hand units' named after its founder Guy Pulvertaft, an internationally renowned surgeon who pioneered improvements, innovation and research in surgical care for hand injuries. With pre- and post-operative care for patients and a multi-disciplinary team integrated into the care model, the centre is nationally recognised for providing the highest standard of hand care. Tim also heard about FIRST research study >, funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) which trials three different splints to treat patients with hand injuries, preventing re-ruptures and getting people back to work quicker. Emma Bamford, Extended Scope Practitioner for hand therapy is leading on this study and is the first non-medic to be recruited to the trial.
- Bindy Sahota, Consultant ENT Surgeon presented his team's work on the High Intensity Tonsillectomy clinic (HITS), which processes a high volume of two half-day tonsillectomy surgery lists followed by Dr Elizabeth Marsh, Associate Professor in Cellular and Microbiology at University of Derby who shared her team's work on HPV screening for head and neck cancers >.
- The day was concluded by Jon Lund, Consultant Surgeon and Chair for the Joint Committee on Surgical Training, who provided an overview about the University of Nottingham's Medical School Physiology Research team. Tim spoke to students about their studies and competed against a colleague in a knee flexion exercise which tests strength and motor control.
Interim Executive Medical Director, Gis Robinson commented, "We were really pleased to welcome Tim and colleagues from the Royal College of Surgeons of England to show the important work we do to strengthen our surgery division and improve patient care and outcomes.
"The day was filled with interesting discussions and showcases of cutting-edge treatments, equipment and facilities including our surgical simulation centre, innovations with the burkha theatre cap, service improvements such as the WHO checklist in response to sexual safety and national research studies such as the SCOOTT trial which aims to explore non-surgical options for thumb arthritis, and our investment in training and development opportunities for staff.'
'"Tim was really impressed by our surgical simulation centre, an essential component of training future surgeons to hone their practical skillset, and the enthusiasm of our clinical skills tutors Mo and Peter as they demonstrated the high-spec technology used to support learner experiences.
"These visits facilitate important discussions on where change is most needed, whether it is at policy-level, new research or providing new and improved education and development opportunities for surgery professionals. We hope our colleagues from RCS England got as much out of it as we did and took away useful insights to inform the future of their work.'
RCS England is a historical and renowned professional membership body representing the interests of over 30,000 surgical and dental care professionals. They work with surgical and dental professionals, patients, NHS and policymakers to improve standards of care, advance training and development opportunities, and address national challenges with waiting times, elective recovery and improve patient outcomes. The president of RCS England is visiting Trusts across the region to engage with surgery teams and professionals to inform the future of their work and where their resources could best serve surgeons and NHS Trusts, particularly with improving patient outcomes and addressing elective recovery.
Tim Mitchell, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England commented "I want to thank colleagues at Royal Derby Hospital and Queen's Hospital Burton for what has been a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable visit. In this relatively short visit, we have seen an impressive portfolio of work taking place in the Trust's surgery division to improve patient care and outcomes, the development opportunities for staff within surgery teams, and hear insights from leading surgeons about the future of the profession. It is always a pleasure to meet with healthcare professionals of the future to learn more about how they will continue to develop the care we are able to offer for our communities in the years to come. On behalf of everyone at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, thank you for your time and hospitality."