Hospitals across the north east are working together to enable more children and young people to have specialist surgery closer to home.
South Tees Hospitals and Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle have teamed up to enable a specialist paediatric surgeon to visit The James Cook University Hospital every other week.
They undertake a morning clinic and afternoon operating list supported by David Macafee, consultant colorectal and general surgeon of childhood and local paediatric anaesthetists.
Relaunched in March 2022 as part of the trust’s COVID-19 recovery plan, there are many benefits from this collaboration:
- More specialist keyhole and complex operations in very young children can now be performed at James Cook which means fewer families need to travel long distances for specialist procedures.
- Some children looked after by paediatric surgeons at Great North Children’s Hospital (such as newborn babies) can now have their follow up outpatient appointments closer to home.
- An increased number of clinics are now available reviewing a wider range of conditions referred from GP and southern hub colleagues.
- With more surgeons and their wider combined expertise, more operating lists occur each year which will help keep waiting times low and accelerate our COVID recovery.
This complements the existing South Tees outpatient services offered by Omar Nugud at Friarage and Mr Ramachandran Amitharaj and Mr Macafee at James Cook.
The surgery takes place at James Cook where paediatric anaesthetists, children’s day unit and children’s recovery are concentrated around the 24/7 paediatric major trauma and critical care facilities.
By doing more cases in the south of the region, it should free up capacity for children awaiting surgery in the northern parts of the north east.
“We are delighted that with the help of Great North Children’s surgeons Mr Gopal, Mr Hosie and Mr Jaffray, we can enable the highest quality surgery for children and young people closer to their homes in Teesside, North Yorkshire, Hambleton and Richmondshire,” said Mr Macafee.
“It means less travel costs and time for families on what can be a very anxious day of surgery.
“Thanks to everyone who has made this possible including staff on the paediatric surgical day unit, ward 22, pre assessment, theatres and the management teams in both hospitals.”