Saints legend Francis Benali will join staff and patients to open a new £2.2 million urology centre in the city tomorrow (Tuesday, 28 January).
The development at University Hospital Southampton reached completion at the end of last year and represents the first purpose-built location for the service.
Among the facilities are new clinic and treatment rooms which enable the team to carry out more procedures and tests promptly without the need to admit patients.
The centre also includes a reception area and dedicated waiting rooms, advanced technology including a lithotripsy suite to treat kidney stones using shock waves and a staff room with additional offices.
Among the new equipment is a novel £16k diagnostic chair, funded by Prostate Cancer South Support Charity Organisation, which prevents the need for patients to go to theatre for prostate cancer investigations and diagnoses.
Members of the clinical team, including doctors, nurses, support staff and management, were involved throughout the project and assisted with all stages of planning and building – and even produced some of the artwork on display for patients and visitors.
The urology department at UHS sees patients from across southern England and the Channel Islands for a range of issues including benign and malignant prostate, bladder, kidney and testicular disorders, renal stones, reconstructive surgery and complex urinary incontinence.
“We have had multiple locations across the organisation over many years – sometimes with parts of the service based at different sites – which made it difficult to set down roots and build the service we wanted for our patients,” said Clare Tull, senior sister in urology.
“Despite that, the dedication from staff to provide the best service they can has been exemplary and that commitment has paid off with the trust investing in the creation of the centre.
“As a result, we now have the space and facilities to provide excellent urology care into the future as we develop and expand expertise in both our medical and nursing teams with our infrastructure now in place.”
She added: “In addition to funding from UHS, Prostate Cancer South Support Charity Organisation and the fundraising efforts of our staff, we would also like to thank our partners including Cancer Research UK, Fight Bladder Cancer and Prostate Cancer UK for their ongoing support.”
Mark Harris, a consultant urological surgeon, said: “Our new diagnostic and treatment rooms enable us to carry out more procedures and tests in an outpatient setting without the need for admission, giving us more opportunity to provide a “one-stop” service.
“Additionally, the space and our services being co-located will enable us to deliver more innovative tests and procedures which reduce the need for anaesthetic and mean we can further improve the experience our patients receive.”
Franny (pictured right), who received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for his services to charity after raising more than £1 million for Cancer Research UK, said: “I am honoured to be invited to celebrate this very special occasion with the urology team at UHS.
“I have already heard lots about the new centre, what it will enable the team to achieve and how it will improve patient care and experience so I am looking forward to seeing it all in operation.”
Paula Head, chief executive of UHS, said: “This is a fantastic development for urology services and it demonstrates our commitment as an organisation to keep developing services and facilities to meet the challenges of today and the future.”
Posted on Monday 27 January 2020