The North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) has set a target of 9,000 surgeries to be done at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) this year. This follows the opening of a new operating theatre for urgent, non-emergency surgeries and refurbishing of two previously underutilized operating theatres.
The newly opened Acute Surgical Theatre will operate from 4 pm to midnight on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is expected to address the demand for complex surgeries and significantly reduce the time patients wait for surgeries.
This is part of a drive by the Ministry of Health, NCRHA board, executive team and staff to carry out refurbishment, upgrade, repainting and the deep cleaning of the other operating theatres at the EWMSC. NCRHA Chief Executive Officer Davlin Thomas said scheduled deep cleaning cycles are important for infection prevention and control (IPC) and to create a better working environment for staff for improved productivity and morale.
“To control hospital-borne infections, the Authority has adopted a robust cleaning schedule that includes the daily comprehensive cleaning of all our operating theatres by a team of specially trained escorts, surgical department assistance, contracted cleaning staff and nurses,” Thomas said.
“Over the past two years, the team has also been performing routine daily cleaning of all our wards, laboratory areas, clinics and the emergency room. We are also engaged in a quarterly schedule of deep cleaning cycles using all the recommended and appropriate solutions to sanitize all surfaces, ventilation systems and equipment used in patient care as part of our Essential and Required Improvements Programme for the Complex.”
Thomas said the deep cleaning schedule has reduced hospital-borne infections by more than 50 per cent since last December.
He added that 2,200 additional surgeries were performed between 2016 and 2018 and the commissioning of the new acute operating theatre “makes us optimistic that we can perform 9,000 surgeries to place a more significant dent in the backlog of patients awaiting surgery.”
The NCRHA is already using its health centres to provide “lumps and bumps surgeries at alternative appropriate sites throughout the region via its Primary Care Surgery Initiative (PSI)”, Thomas said.
Approximately 534 minor surgeries were performed under the PSI over the last year, eliminating the backlog of minor surgeries. The CEO said the NCRHA is now turning its attention to patients with more complicated surgeries.
The NCRHA’s Surgery Sunday initiative facilitated approximately 400 additional surgeries last year.