2016 is set to be an unprecedented year for Spire St Anthony’s Hospital. Its new £30 million musculoskeletal centre and six-theatre complex is now operational. Monday 16th August saw the first patient being operated on in the new theatre complex. The patient was one of the 10,000 treated each year at the hospital and successfully underwent complex joint surgery.
Mr Gerry Kavanagh, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Spire St Anthony's explains: “I have operated on patients at this hospital for 30 years. I was here before we had the very first clean air theatre and today I was the first surgeon to operate in this entirely new theatre complex. I carried out a successful total knee replacement in theatre four of the six theatres - this theatre is especially good for orthopaedic surgery due to the clean air flow.”
Surgical equipment donated to charity
Where possible, the former hospital equipment is being donated to a number of charities. Mr Paul Thomas is a consultant general surgeon and vascular surgeon at Spire St Anthony's Hospital, but he is also the clinical director of The AMECA Trust, a charity supporting the delivery of sustainable healthcare initiatives in African countries.
Mr. Thomas explains the importance of the donation: “For the past seven years I have been teaching and providing training in surgery at rural district hospitals in Malawi; this has proved a low-cost high impact initiative. The donation of medical equipment is vital to sustain basic surgical care there. Sadly the district hospitals suffer from chronic under-funding, resulting in severe shortages of even the most basic of medical supplies and we are enormously grateful for the assistance of Spire St Anthony’s in supporting our work.
“The charity was responsible for building a hospital wing in Blantyre, Malawi in 2011. Revenue from treatment at the AMECA Wing has so far raised over £70,000 which provides for free paediatric orthopaedic treatment. The charity is currently constructing a primary healthcare clinic for a community of 22,000 in 11 villages, who have no current access to any healthcare. AMECA will also supply staff housing, an ambulance and fully equip the clinic; sustainability for this project is assured by the clinic being run by the Blantyre District Health Office. “
AMECA works closely with Medical Aid International, a social enterprise responsible for international medical aid and recycling medical equipment for the developing world.
Tim Beacon is the managing director of Medical Aid International. He explains how the donation will be distributed: “Where possible, most of the equipment will be utilised in Malawi. One set of theatre lights will be sent for use at a children’s surgical unit in Mbarara in Uganda on behalf of a charity called The Archie Foundation. Other suitable items will go to Tanzania and other hospitals and rural clinics throughout the developing world. At Medical Aid International we ensure the correct equipment, all serviced and made fit for purchase, is sent to the appropriate destination.”
Spire St Anthony’s not only has brand new facilities but also a unique ethos of care enshrined in its wonderful standards of nursing, established by the Daughters of the Cross. As a result, the hospital is attracting some of the best doctors and consultants in the country.
The hospital hosts a new hybrid theatre which will enable us to offer even more highly complex interventional procedures attracting some of UK’s leading interventional consultant radiologists and surgeons.”
Hospital director, Melvin Robson adds:
“As we roll out the final stages of the development, we can start to offer local patients a state of the art theatre complex, a new nine-bay recovery unit and the new musculoskeletal centre including a physiotherapy gym, a hydrotherapy pool, treatment rooms and additional consulting rooms. Staff will benefit from our newly refurbished rest rooms and office areas as well as working in a thoroughly modern environment which is centred on the patient and their care.”