LEIGH Infirmary has opened its new theatre, becoming the trust’s main centre for breast surgery.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) have built a modern, ultra-clean theatre and provide a new recovery area to support both the new and existing theatres on the site.

This means that patients from the area will have less distance to travel and more options will be available to those needing to attend Leigh Infirmary for surgery.

Leigh Journal: Leigh Theatres Team and Estates Team in the new Theatre 4Leigh Theatres Team and Estates Team in the new Theatre 4 (Image: WWL)

Around 2,117 more theatre procedures will take place at the site per year, of which around 300 will be breast cancer surgeries.

In addition to the recently opened community diagnostics centre at Leigh, this new theatre will further enhance Leigh as a centre for diagnostics and elective surgery.

The £7.9m investment was made as part of NHS England’s Targeted Investment Fund (TIF) programme to increase elective capacity across the country.

The funding has also resulted in a series of complementary improvements to the rooms supporting the theatres.

Leigh Journal: Leigh Theatres Team in the new recovery area at Leigh InfirmaryLeigh Theatres Team in the new recovery area at Leigh Infirmary (Image: WWL)

This has enabled an increased range of procedures across multiple specialties, an increased utilisation of existing capacity and longer opening hours of support services at the Infirmary.

Mary Fleming, WWL’s Interim Chief Executive said: “The recent opening of the new theatre and the Community Diagnostic Centre has been a huge boost for Leigh Infirmary, and the local area.

“By developing its role as a diagnostic and elective site we are now able to offer increased services and opportunities to our patients to have surgery closer to home.

“Throughout the building work, Leigh Infirmary’s existing theatres remained operational, which is testament to the dedication and perseverance of our theatre teams to identify ways to work around a busy construction area. I was pleased to hear that our first patients were as impressed with the development as we are.

Leigh Journal: New Theatre 4 at Leigh InfirmaryNew Theatre 4 at Leigh Infirmary (Image: WWL)

“The theatre has also given the Trust increased resilience and flexibility, whilst creating an opportunity for Leigh to really support with reducing elective waiting lists in Greater Manchester.

“This fantastic new facility and it will certainly help with our ambition for Leigh Infirmary to be accredited with surgical hub status - we are certainly seeing a bright future ahead for Leigh.”

Geoff Conway, Senior Theatre Practitioner said: “Each team involved in the development was caring, thoughtful and mindful during the construction and were conscious that we still had patients to care for while the building work was ongoing.

“Our first patient list in Theatre 4 worked beautifully in every aspect and on the day, our patients commented on what we already know, by mentioning how smart and new the Theatre is.”

Geoff continued: “The new working environment across all areas has had a visibly positive impact on both medical and nursing staff - happier staff generates a happier environment all of which benefits our patients.”