Staff Celebrate Extraordinary Achievements in Lagan Valley Hospital Day Procedure Centre

13th December 2022

Staff at the Day Procedure Centre (DPC) at the Lagan Valley Hospital gathered together to celebrate the incredible work which has taken place in the unit throughout the pandemic and beyond.

The Regional Day Procedure Centre began its vital work in October 2020. Before Covid struck, the Lagan Valley DPC had been identified as the Regional Day Case facility for non-urgent surgical procedures.

However, prior to its opening, the pandemic hit and there was concern that throughout the Region, many urgent cancer procedures/investigations were being cancelled due to staffing issues and the requirement to increase ICU capacity.

This prompted the team in the DPC to reconsider the activity being undertaken there and it was agreed that all available theatre lists would be converted to priority lists that would be available to the Region for appropriate urgent procedures.

The staff worked tirelessly to ensure a green pathway was provided which minimised the risk of anyone being exposed to the virus. Staff had to be trained so they could safely carry out procedures that had not been previously undertaken in this unit. Such was the success of the Day Procedure Centre, over 2,000 priority treatments took place during the pandemic.

These were provided in a number of areas including General Surgery, Urology, Ophthalmology, Renal and Plastic Surgery for skin cancer. These were procedures that would have otherwise been delayed.

The Assistant Director for Elective Services Chris Allam, explained how there were a number of hurdles to overcome, “We had to gain the confidence of patients to attend for their procedure during the pandemic. Demand for lists exceeded capacity so we had to ensure there was equity of access for all Trusts across the Region.”

The DPC at Lagan Valley continued to provide this service until October 2022 when it reverted back to its original purpose – to provide capacity for non-urgent routine surgical procedures. To allow this to happen a number of important actions had to be completed, namely:

  • Centralisation of waiting lists within the DPC at Lagan Valley
  • Centralised booking of all lists
  • Text reminder service implemented
  • Performance monitoring of theatre lists to ensure all available capacity is utilised
  • Patient satisfaction survey

In October 2022 within the DPC, 303 patients had their procedures, an increase of 43 patients from the month before. Procedures took place across specialities such as Urology (149 patients), General Surgery ( 114 patients ) and Plastics ( 40 patients ). It’s hoped that in the months ahead, there will be a further increase in the total number of patients who have received their treatment in the DPC.

Chris Allam added, “We are examining ways we can better manage cancellations and DNA appointments by using text messaging and dynamic scheduling for last minute appointments.”

The Chief Executive of the South Eastern Trust, Roisin Coulter said, “The Day Procedure Centre at the Lagan Valley Hospital is a fantastic achievement and testimony to the extraordinary amount of work and dedication that all staff have demonstrated since the unit opened. So many challenges were encountered but overcome so the community can now benefit from this excellent elective care centre.”