On Friday 2 October I visited The Horton Treatment Centre, based at the Horton General Hospital. During my time at the Centre I had a tour of the facilities and met Hospital Director, Paul Byrne, to discuss the impact coronavirus had on local NHS services.
During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the Horton Treatment Centre transformed into a trauma unit and suspended its non-urgent elective surgeries, to ease pressure on other services at the Horton. Jonathan Maskell, Head of Clinical Services, remarked that opening the Ramsay to trauma patients was a “fantastic learning experience for the team”, that ensured patients were looked after as effectively and efficiently as possible. Since then, outpatient cases have resumed with a greater focus on day surgery including knee and hip replacements. Patients are spending less time in the Covid-free hospital to protect their health, which has also improved hospital efficiency. Heads of Department continue to meet every morning to discuss the day ahead and identify any possible issues.
During my visit I also had a tour of its fantastic facilities. When visiting Physiotherapy, I heard about how assessments and exercises are being done virtually from the comfort of the patients' home. Equipment is issued in advance to allow patients to work through their post-op exercises beforehand, optimising recovery. Outpatient Manager Jill Brown also told me that the Centre now aims for just one pre-op visit to reduce contact, with telephone appointments now the preferred method to reassure patients ahead of surgery.
I was really pleased that I could visit the Horton Treatment Centre, to hear about its efforts during coronavirus, and how it quickly adapted to treat trauma patients. The Horton Hospital and The Centre have a really good working relationship, which was very clear during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and which I know they are keen to build on going forward.