The iconic King’s College Hospital in London is this year celebrating 100 years at its site in Camberwell – but there are other dates in the hospital’s history which have particular significance for Anetic Aid...
For a pioneering group led by surgeon Mr Paul Baskerville opened one of the first dedicated, purpose-built day surgery units at the hospital more than 20 years ago – using a day surgery trolley developed in collaboration with Anetic Aid.
With six theatres, the unit was the biggest in Europe when it opened and visitors from all
over the world came to look at the King’s College Hospital approach to Day Surgery.
Explained Mr Baskerville: ‘I had been Registrar to Mr Paul Jarrett, one of the founders of the British Association of Day Surgery (BADS), and was convinced that Day Surgery was the way forward. Getting funding to build a new unit of this kind was a tremendous opportunity.
‘In order to drive efficiency, we looked at two particular aspects – the first was to have all of the nursing staff able to work everywhere in the unit on rotation, which required a specialist training programme.
‘The second was to find a way of abolishing the practice of transferring patients from bed to trolley, trolley to operating table etc. – and that is what led to the idea of a piece of equipment that could be both transport trolley and operating table.’
Paul Baskerville and Jill Solly, who was Day Unit Manager at the Trust at the time, were part of a small group tasked with equipping the whole of the unit, so they set out to find a manufacturing partner who had the skills and vision to develop their idea of a dedicated day surgery trolley.
Guy Schofield, now CEO of Anetic Aid, had recently joined the family business at its manufacturing arm in Portsmouth and he led the project – drawing up the initial brief and working alongside our designers and engineers to create the first prototypes.
In all, it took around 18 months to develop, but in 1991 when the Day Surgery Unit opened at King’s, there were 36 bed spaces and 36 models of the QA2 KCH Day Surgery Trolley.
Said Mr Baskerville: ‘It looks dated now, but at the time, the trolley was fantastic because it did exactly what we wanted it to. The first procedure performed at the new unit was a gynaecological case and the second was one of mine – a varicose vein procedure.’
Of course, there are now dozens of dedicated day surgery units around the UK – and other parts of the world – and day surgery itself has evolved and developed over the years.
And for Anetic Aid, that innovation has come full circle, as King’s College Hospital has this year taken delivery of the latest generation of this equipment – 13 powered and 14 manual models of Anetic Aid’s QA4 Day Surgery System.
Said Mr Baskerville: ‘The new trolleys are terrific – in those early days it wasn’t possible to have things like lateral tilt and X-ray translucence.
‘Day surgery has changed tremendously – and will go on changing. We recognise that a reduced stay in hospital means improved patient recovery so our aim is to make as much elective surgery as possible day case. The rationale is that people will only be in hospital for a procedure that cannot be done elsewhere and if they need the specialist care of hospital staff.
‘What has made this possible is the advances in surgical practice – becoming less invasive with more key-hole surgery, improvements in anaesthesia which mean patients’ blood pressure, kidney function etc. returns to normal more quickly, and our ability to manage pain more effectively.
‘That is our part, but it’s also about educating patients, so that they know what to expect and how to continue caring for themselves when they get back home – with the knowledge that there is support if they need it.
‘We are not minimising the seriousness of having an operation, it’s about managing it better and more efficiently. Patient safety will always be the first priority – but we are already extending the scope of day surgery to procedures which involve a 23 hour or even 72 hour stay.’
See the all of Anetic Aid’s exhibits – the QA4 Day Surgery Trolley System, the QA3 Variable Height Patient Trolley, the new AT4 Tourniquet System and a wide range of operation table accessories and quality stainless steel furniture on stand B25 in Hall 14.