It will mainly support two NHS Treatment Centres in London which were set up in 2002. They provide an environment where routine day or short stay surgery can be carried out, unaffected by medical emergencies which often lead to cancellations of routine surgery.

Professor Sir Ara Darzi, from Imperial College London and St Mary's Hospital, and leader of the Centre of Training and Innovation comments: "With treatment centres set to be the future of routine planned surgery in the NHS, Centres of Training and Innovation will be vital in developing new and improved models of care. "Imperial has long been at the forefront of innovative new treatments, improved ways of working and new technologies, such as the use of the Da Vinci surgical robot. This partnership will allow us to develop better ways of working, directly benefiting patients.”

The Centre for Training and Innovation in West London will deliver a range of programmes all designed to improve elective care. The use of regional anaesthesia and minimally invasive techniques will be further developed in the Centre. There will also be opportunities for staff development, including training GPs to undertake certain surgical procedures.

Professor Steve Smith, Principal of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London adds: "Under the outstanding leadership of Professor Sir Ara Darzi, the Division of Surgery at Imperial College has been highly successful in innovation and research in surgery, leading to safer procedures and improved patient outcomes.

The exceptional ability of the College to bring together surgeons, computer scientists, mathematicians and engineers, provides a unique environment for innovative, multidisciplinary research. In partnership with the NHS, Imperial College intends to be the leading European Centre for research in surgery.”; Source: Imperial College at the University of London