£1m investment for robot surgery at Norfolk hospital

The new Da Vinci robot being used by the NNUH urology team. Picture: NNUH

The new Da Vinci robot being used by the NNUH urology team. Picture: NNUH - Credit: Archant

Norfolk’s largest hospital has invested £1m into new robotic technology to improve outcomes for patients and cut waiting lists.

Consultant Vivekanandan Kumar with the new Da Vinci robot. Picture: NNUH

Consultant Vivekanandan Kumar with the new Da Vinci robot. Picture: NNUH - Credit: Archant

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has invested the £1m sum from the hospital’s charity into two new robots to try and reduce the numbers of patients waiting by up to 600 people a year.

It is one of the biggest single donations in the charity’s history.

The Da Vinci Surgery robots allow surgeons to carry out procedures with pin-point accuracy, via much smaller incisions than were needed traditionally. One of the robots also has dual controls, which the hospital hopes will help it safely train more surgeons to perform operations using the new technology.

Vivekanandan Kumar, consultant urological surgeon, who carried out the first surgery using the new robot, said: “This new robot is sleeker and more versatile with added features compared to the one we have used and it makes a huge difference to our theatre capacity.

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“Robotic surgery also offers far greater accuracy when removing a tumour, which means better outcomes for our patients. A number of surgical procedures require an amount of stitching and plumbing work inside the patient which is quite challenging. With a robot the patient is left with very, very small scars which is a marker of the very good services we are providing.”

In addition to urology and colorectal procedures the current robot has been used for, the robots are expected to be used for some gynaecology, thoracic, head and neck surgeries.

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The hospital’s chief of surgery Tim Leary said the investment will put the hospital “on the map” in relation to innovative robotic procedures.

John Paul Garside, head of The NNUH Charity, said: “Last year’s Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity spending programme was the largest for a decade. These grants help to improve patient and staff experience by funding innovative projects. I would like to thank everyone who has raised funds for the charity to enable us to make these significant contributions. We hugely value the support we receive from our community, near and far.”

Sam Higginson, NNUH chief executive, added: “This is further evidence of the ground-breaking work going on at NNUH to better care for our patients. I would like to thank the hospital’s charity for an incredibly generous donation of £1m.”

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