In 2011 we launched our campaign to fund five computer integrated theatres for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales. At a cost of several million pounds, these ‘theatres of the future’ are state of art equipment, increasing the hospital’s capacity to deliver outstanding care. We are hugely grateful to all of those who donated to make these theatres possible and we would like to thank our patron Diane Engleheardt and her family, who donated over £1.5 million through their foundation The Moondance Trust.
Why are they so special?
Prior to the creation of Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales, children’s operations would take place in adult theatres. While entirely safe, these theatre environments were not tailored to the needs of children and their families. Our new theatres are dedicated paediatric operating spaces, putting children and the family’s needs at the centre of their design.
What’s in place?
• Five operating theatres
• A dedicated recovery area with 8 bays which children will visit post operatively
• A child-friendly waiting area which includes a small play area
• Parents’ waiting areas
• An examination room to enable children to be seen immediately prior to emergency surgery by an anaesthetist/surgeon who may otherwise be unable to go to the ward to see children pre-operatively.
Two of the theatres are integrated theatres, which means they have technology to enable the surgeon to configure the theatre system to their needs.
Why are computer-integrated theatres important?
Because the surgeon can configure the theatre to meet their needs, the space remains sterile while they operate. The surgeon can alter the position of their lighting for example whilst carrying out a procedure. This is beneficial as it increases efficiency by not having to wait for assisting staff to move monitors, lights and viewing equipment. It also frees up other staff in the theatre to assist in other tasks, like assisting the anaesthetist or getting additional items which may be required.
Increasing teaching opportunities
Each integrated theatre has video technology that allows students to watch operations on large screens without needing to stand alongside the surgeon. This is hugely beneficial in terms teaching opportunities as well as health and safety measures. In the long term we hope to fund the ability to view the operation from the seminar room so that teaching can occur for groups of people reducing the number of observers and therefore the risk of infection in the theatre.
These theatres are in place but will continue to need further development. If you would like to contribute to these phenomenal theatres please donate today.