Current & future developments at South Tees
A new state-of-the-art radiotherapy treatment, stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy – or SABR, for cancer patients at The James Cook University Hospital won a HSJ national efficiency award last year. The technique uses the latest developments in radiotherapy technology from Elekta to deliver very high doses of radiation to tumours in the chest with millimetre precision.
Recently introduced robotic surgery for prostate and other cancer treatments.
The neurosurgical unit at The James Cook University Hospital provides a wide-range of healthcare expertise for outpatients, inpatients and adult patients who come into hospital as an emergency including head injuries and other traumas; brain haemorrhage; brain tumours and surgical intervention for spinal injuries. Due to the nature of admissions and the wide range of surgical procedures performed, the ward has its own high dependency unit (HDU) staffed by specially trained nurses.
The James Cook University Hospital has been selected as one of the first in the UK to offer a leading-edge stroke-prevention treatment. The Middlesbrough hospital is one of 10 centres across the UK selected to offer the new procedure known as Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Closure as part of NHS England’s £15m Commissioning through Evaluation (CtE) programme.
Annual India medical mission
Patients in one of the poorest areas of India can look forward to better, pain-free lives following a visit by a volunteer medical team, led by staff from South Tyneside District Hospital. The group of about 20 – mainly from South Tyneside, Sunderland, Gateshead, Durham and Newcastle hospitals – gave up their own time to perform more than 100 life-changing procedures during an intensive, six-day period at Walawalkar Hospital in Dervan, on India’s west coast.
The specialities involved included urology, plastic, orthopaedic, eye and general surgery, gynaecology, radiology, anaesthetics, physiotherapy, and acute pain management. It was the 13th time that the annual trip had been arranged through the SVJC Trust charity.
Dr Sanjay Deshpande, consultant anaesthetist at South Tyneside District Hospital, originally had the idea for the medical mission after visiting Walawalkar while on a family holiday to India in 2005. He was impressed by the dedication and commitment of the medical staff there, despite their limited resources. He said: “It is sometimes easy to forget how fortunate we are to have the NHS. “It is an amazing experience for us to go to Walawalkar Hospital and, through what would be considered in this country as relatively simple operations, be able to help people whose quality of life would be significantly reduced if they were left untreated.” Money is raised throughout each year to cover the cost of travel and shipping of equipment for the medical mission.