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Vale Hospital brings digital technology to South Wales

Date posted 01/06/2021

Wales is firmly on the surgical map with Vale Hospital becoming the reference centre for the most advanced surgical theatres of their kind in the UK. The two custom-designed fully digital theatres have been installed in the new Vale Hospital, in the Vale of Glamorgan, near Cardiff, which opened on 1st June 2010.

The operating theatres – which were custom-designed and installed by Smith & Nephew – will benefit the patient and the surgical team, and are designed to improve efficiency throughout the hospital.

The system utilises the latest digital technology with all of the equipment suspended from the ceiling. Full high definition (HD) technology with 1920 x 1080 resolution will allow surgeons to see things with greater clarity than is possible with current technology, making complex procedures – such as ‘keyhole’ surgery - far easier. The theatres will also enable high quality video signals to be sent within the theatre – or around the hospital – in real time.

The Vale Hospital is the first in Wales to use Integration Broker technology which will allow the surgical team access to video and patient information – including a patient’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR) – at the touch of a button. This will improve work flow in theatre by allowing the surgeon to see x-rays, images and other patient documents. There will also be the option to share images between theatres, giving surgeons wider access to consultation and communication with other professionals.

Commenting on the state-of–the-art technology that will be available, Consultant General Surgeon, Tim Havard says: "The High Definition picture quality will be of great benefit and allow for complex surgery to be carried out far more easily. It will also be very helpful to have instant access to x-rays and other patient information; this will be displayed on big screens within the operating theatre and will allow myself and my colleagues to have all the information we need at our fingertips."

The theatres and equipment at the Vale Hospital have been custom designed and installed through close consultation between Smith & Nephew and Vale Healthcare.

As well as being technologically impressive, the theatres also include ipod™ docking stations to create a stimulating work atmosphere for the surgeons. The theatres are larger than average, and also provide surgeons with a rare glimpse of daylight.

Lis Neil, Chief Executive of Vale Healthcare, says, "The installation of the most technologically advanced digital operating rooms at the Vale Hospital shows our dedication to providing our surgeons with the best equipment possible.

"The state-of-the-art theatres also demonstrate the way we are taking health provision in Wales forward. We are committed to providing the best in healthcare for our patients who will undoubtedly benefit from the digital theatres when the Vale Hospital opens in June this year."

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