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Hospital robot helps treat radical prostatectomies

A new robot has been brought in to treat Radical Prostatectomies at Derriford Hospital.

An open day for patients, carers and members of the public is being held today to showcase the work of the new robot.

The da Vinci robot has been in operation at the hospital since April 2015 and has been used around 20 times already.

It's hoped 150 patients will be treated each year using robot-assisted surgery.

How does it work?

  • Small incisions are made and used to insert miniaturised wristed instruments and a high-definition 3D camera.
  • With the surgeon seated at the console, they can view a magnified, high-resolution 3D image of the surgical site inside the body.
  • At the same time, the robot translates the surgeon’s hand movements into precise micro-movements of the da Vinci instruments.

The da Vinci robot cost around £1million, of which £125,000 was kindly donated by The Chestnut Appeal.

This robot finally allows patients in Cornwall and Devon to have equal access to the gold standard treatment for prostate cancer. Patients from Cornwall have previously had to travel to Bristol for this treatment. Having the dual console, which is not standard in all machines, will set us up to be a beacon centre for robotic training.

– Ali Ramsden, Consultant Urologist at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Credit: Derriford Hospital

Lorry driver who died after crashing into Derriford Hospital named

A man who died following a collision involving a refuse lorry within the grounds of Derriford Hospital has been named as 57-year old Lee Jane from Higher Compton, Plymouth.

Mr Jane was declared deceased at the scene and the Health and Safety Executive has been informed.

He used to work as a Viridor collections services driver and had been with the company as an LGV driver based at Plympton Depot for 9 years.

Viridor is providing support to Lee’s family and work colleagues.

I am sure I speak for everyone in saying how saddened we are by the loss of our colleague in such a tragic accident.

The loss has been deeply felt by the Viridor teams across Plymouth. Our sympathies and thoughts remain with Lee’s family, friends and colleagues

The company continues to work closely with the authorities on the ongoing investigation into the incident.

– Mark Woods, Viridor’s South West Regional Director


Driver killed by his own lorry at Derriford Hospital

The 57-year-old man was killed in the grounds of Derriford Hospital this morning. Credit: ITV News

A lorry driver killed at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth was trying to stop it rolling away, police say.

The 57-year-old man was hitching a trailer onto his skip lorry after collecting building waste when the vehicle started to move. The lorry hit the hospital radio building, but no-one else was hurt.

The man's family have been told and went to the hospital immediately.

Man dies after lorry crashes into Derriford Hospital

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. Credit: ITV News

A man has died after a bin lorry crashed into Derriford Hospital in Plymouth this morning.

Police believe the driver of the vehicle, a 57-year-old man, was run over by the truck as it collided with the hospital. It has been suggested that he was trying to stop it rolling away.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Police do not believe any other people or vehicles were involved.

Derriford launches new £2m helipad

When it is not in use, the H will be covered with the no fly signal. Credit: Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Trauma victims in the region will be able to get treatment faster as a new helipad is launched at Derriford Hospital today.

The £2 million facility means journeys will be cut by 30 minutes. It will also allow the air ambulance and Search and Rescue Helicopters to land at night.

The letter 'H' has now been painted on the roof, making it clearly visible from the air. When it is not in use, the H will be covered with the no fly signal - a yellow cross with a red square.

Derriford Hospital is the designated major trauma centre for the peninsula and receives around 400 patients a year that need to be transferred by air. The location of the new helipad allows access straight to the doors of our Emergency Department, enabling faster transfer of patients and quicker access to emergency care for major trauma patients.

The helipad has been funded by the County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal, which has contributed £850,000. The Hospital Trust has contributed a further £900,000.

Health chiefs at Derriford say they may not be able to meet growing demands

Health chiefs at the region's biggest hospital have issued a grim warning that they may not be able to meet growing demands from patients as they struggle to make cutbacks.

Plymouth's Derriford Hospital needs to chop £12 million from its budget. But that will still leave it short of £33 million next year.

As John Andrews reports, its not the only one of the region's hospitals feeling the pinch.


Derriford Hospital reveals its deficit is expected to grow

Derriford Hospital has revealed its deficit is expected to grow. Credit: ITV News

Plymouth's Derriford Hospital has revealed its deficit is expected to grow to £33million.

In the last financial year it was just under £5million - but today the Board will hear that a loss of one-off sources of funding and underspends not continuing have contributed to the expected increase.

Derriford Hospital reports two 'never events' in just two months

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth has reported two so-called 'never events' so far this year.

One involved a swab being left in a patient, while another saw a wrong-sided prosthesis fitted. A third never event was also reported from 2010, where a patient returned to hospital having had surgery on the wrong site.

A 'never event' is described as a "serious safety incident". The Trust has apologised for both cases.

All three incidents have been fully reported and are the subject of comprehensive investigations.

We have apologised personally to the patients affected and we are extremely sorry that these mistakes have happened.

Our staff work extremely hard to care for patients and no-one comes to work to cause harm. We see and treat nearly half a million patients per year and, for hundreds of thousands of people, their investigations and treatment go well and they report being highly satisfied with their care.

But as our staff are human, very occasionally mistakes happen and things do not go as planned.

When mistakes happen it’s essential that we’re open and honest about them with the patients affected and the public and, importantly, that we use them as learning opportunities to help us improve our services and make them safer.

– Ann James, Chief Executive Derriford Hospital

In 2013 the hospital reported five never events. In 2014, they reported one.

West Country hospitals fined millions over waiting times

Hospitals in the West have been penalised for their A&E waiting times. Credit: PA

West Country hospitals are being fined millions for failing to meet targets.

A&E waiting times and ambulance handover deadlines are among the problems which have cost Devon hospitals over £6.5m and the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, which has a £7m deficit, over a million pounds.

The nationally agreed targets are set every year by NHS England. Local clinical commissioning groups hold the hospitals to account by levying fines, reinvesting the money into schemes to improve services.

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth was charged £4.8 million, but received half back in compensation.

In 2014/15, we paid fines of £4.8m. We received £2.89m in compensation.

In recognition of the exceptional emergency pressures faced by the Trust, commissioners agreed to compensate the trust financially for a loss of income for planned operations that were unable to be undertaken and that emergency activity was costing more than the 50% of tariff paid.

NHS England required fines for performance to be applied by commissioners.

– Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
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