Colchester-based Care UK invests £1.4m in new operating theatre

Staff celebrate after Care UK announced it is investing £1.4million in a new operating theatre at Ba

Staff celebrate after Care UK announced it is investing £1.4million in a new operating theatre at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre in Derbyshire. - Credit: Archant

An Essex care firm has invested £1.4million in a new operating theatre in the Midlands.

Work started this week on the Care UK-run Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre in Derbyshire which will increase its capacity to carry out major orthopaedic procedures for NHS patients by almost one third.

The treatment centre first opened 10 years ago under the first wave of the then Labour government’s Independent Sector Treatment Centre (ISTC) programme to deal with long waiting lists in the region.

It now operates under the Any Qualified Provider (AQP) framework and is commissioned through the NHS standard Acute Contract, after Colchester-based Care UK decided to keep the centre open without any guaranteed volumes or activity of work thanks to strong demand from local patients and their clinicians.

To celebrate the investment in the operating theatre, which is scheduled to open in February next year, more than half of the 41 members of the team who have worked at the centre since it opened in 2005 were involved in a turf cutting ceremony for the new theatre.

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Hospital director Martin Page said: “Care UK is re-investing back into the NHS in order to improve services for patients and to further reduce waiting times for surgery in the region.

“The new theatre will gives us four fully functioning facilities and we hope that when it opens next February it will help us to significantly reduce the time many patients, experiencing the pain and inconvenience of worn joints, have to wait for treatment.”

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During the 10 years the Barlborough MHS Treatment Centre has been in operation, more than 38,000 procedures have been carried out. In the last 12 months alone, more than 2,000 joint operations have been carried out on knees, hips and shoulders.

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