New multi-million-pound hospital building in Cheltenham to open in New Year

10 Aug 2022, 6 a.m.

Work on a new day surgery unit and two new theatres at Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) costing £17.2m is progressing well with patients set to benefit as early as the new year.

Chedworth Surgical Suite at CGH will open in early 2023 at a cost of £7.9m and as part of the build there will be a new reception area, 27 private pre-operative/post-operative rooms and one treatment room. The building will provide a modern, purpose-built environment for up to an extra 2,500 day surgery patients a year.

Linked to the new unit is the development of two new theatres at a cost of £9.3m, which, when completed, will treat approximately 2,500 more patients. Combined the new facilities will have a significant impact on the waiting list built up over the pandemic, improve outcomes, reduce the possibility of cancellations and enhance patient experience.

The building works, which is being completed by contractors Kier, remain on track and are part of a much wider £100m-plus programme of investment to establish centres of excellence across Gloucestershire Royal (GRH) and Cheltenham General Hospitals (CGH). Work started last year (2021) and has already seen a new £6.5m radiology department re-open at CGH, a new £1m Medical Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) unit open at GRH and the opening of a new ward, Gallery Ward 2, at a cost of £4.5m, also at GRH, earlier this month (August).

Miss Margaret Coyle, Chief of Service for the Surgical Division and Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, said:

“The facilities will be purpose-built meaning there will be dedicated pre and post-operative rooms where patients are prepared before surgery and closely monitored afterwards. The facility will be ring fenced for day surgical patients and surgical admissions so the likelihood of procedures being cancelled will be less.”

Currently CGH operates on about 5,000 day cases per year across a wide range of specialities including gynaecology, colorectal, upper GI, breast, orthopaedic and urology surgery. Once the new surgical suite is open that number will increase to about 7,500. The two new theatres will also enable surgery to increase by 2,500 with orthopaedic, general surgery and urology patients in particular set to benefit.

Miss Coyle added:

“Over the pandemic in certain specialities such as orthopaedics in particular we had to stop a lot of our operating. This means there are people waiting much longer for procedures such as hip or knee surgery. These new facilities will significantly reduce the length of time these patients are waiting for surgery while also enabling improved outcomes and a better all-round patient experience.”

Acting Matron Cathryn Braithwaite added:

“Once completed these facilities will make a massive difference to staff. There will be a purpose-built environment where clinical colleagues will have the best possible opportunity in which to provide the kind of care they came into the job to do. It will also mean that as a day surgery team we will be located in one area rather than being split meaning we can support each other in a much better way.”

The new surgical suite and theatres at Cheltenham is an incredibly exciting development for the service and the hospitals more broadly. The building work is the culmination of many years of work and once fully completed will mean that we will be able to treat thousands more patients a year.

Miss Margaret Coyle, Chief of Service for the Surgical Division and Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
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Building the new Surgical Suite at Cheltenham General