An initial 150 patients per year are set to benefit from a new £95,000 investment in new lung surgery services at The Friarage Hospital, Northallerton.
New specialist imaging equipment, increased theatre capacity for lung surgery and outpatient clinics will now be provided at the North Yorkshire hospital, benefitting patients from across Hambleton and Richmondshire and further afield, who currently face a long journey to The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Jonathan Ferguson, consultant in cardiothoracic services who is leading the development, said the new service would be “more local and more responsive” – and would be greatly welcomed by patients across the North Yorkshire area, including Harrogate and Thirsk.
Dr Ferguson said: “This will greatly benefit patients now and in the long term.
“It will result in reduced waiting times across the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust patch – and possibly further afield – as the service we now offer at The Friarage was traditionally provided in other, larger centres like The James Cook University Hospital.
“This investment also further cements the Trust’s commitment to developing services at The Friarage Hospital and providing care closer to people’s homes.”
The development has benefitted from a £14,000 donation from Friends of the Friarage, which will contribute to funding new specialist equipment needed to provide the service.
It will also help to ensure theatre space available at The Friarage can be transformed, not only to become fit for purpose, but to provide the highest possible standards in patient care and comfort.
Upendra Somasundram, Chairman of the Friends of the Friarage, said: “We’re delighted to support this investment and contribute towards what is an important service at the Friarage.
“It is great to see new developments happening on the hospital site.”
Mr Ferguson has also acknowledged the role of military anaesthetic colleagues in enabling this service to be provided at The Friarage.
Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Bartels said: “We are delighted to be involved with bringing such a key service to The Friarage to enable a high level of care and vital surgical services to be provided closer to people’s homes in Hambleton and Richmond.”