NHS Tayside is now beginning to remobilise services and one of the first areas to get back up and running for patients is the hospital’s operating theatres and the surgical minor procedures unit.
The health authority has said that teams at Stracathro have worked throughout the pandemic to keep as many services running as they could. Their specialist skills meant, however, that they were critical to the pandemic response and were they transferred to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee to be part of the region’s dedicated Covid response.
In line with NHS Tayside’s Remobilisation Plan, as the number of Covid patients being cared for in Ninewells has stabilised, Stracathro staff are returning to their specialist roles.
Four operating theatres and the surgical minor procedures unit are fully operational again and the surgical unit ward will also be open for inpatients and day cases.
Stracathro provides elective or planned surgeries and therefore general surgery, orthopaedics, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery and dental surgery will all resume. Surgical services are also expanding to include ENT and gynaecology.
Lesley Forsyth, clinical group Manager, said: “We’re delighted to welcome our staff back.
“The remobilisation of services also sees the restart of elective orthopaedic operations every week at Stracathro. This means up to 100 orthopaedic procedures, including joint replacements, can be carried out every month. We’re looking forward to welcoming patients with more people now able to have the operations they have been waiting for.”
Lorna Birse-Stewart, NHS Tayside chair, said: “Stracathro Hospital is a critical part of the Remobilisation Plan. This was demonstrated in November last year, when the surgical team treated the first patient in Tayside to have hip replacement surgery as a day case, where the patient walked out of the surgical unit a few hours after their operation, with the aid of crutches.
“I would like to thank staff who were redeployed to join colleagues in Ninewells to care for patients and help face the dual challenges of winter and Covid.”
“The NHS Tayside Remobilisation Plan sets out our priorities to be delivered now and over the coming months in order to start to address the backlog in care and meet the ongoing healthcare needs for people across Tayside.
“It is very encouraging to see surgical services resume at Stracathro as part of these plans which will mean staff – and the people of Tayside – will benefit from this positive progress.”