A special afternoon of fun has helped staff, visitors and former patients celebrate the 10th anniversary of Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre on Thursday, along with 40 current employees who started work on the first day.
Since it opened, more than 195,000 procedures have been carried out: 25,500 cataracts have been removed, almost 8,000 hernias have been repaired and close to 11,000 joints have been replaced.
Hospital director Chester Barnes said: “That is a great many people who can carry on with their jobs, lives and hobbies free of pain: people who can once again read books and drive cars free from cataracts, who can play tennis or golf clubs from pain and who can go back to their roles in their community free from the pain of worn knee and hip joints.
“We were all delighted to be able to welcome back former patients to share our special day and to welcome new friends who had the chance to learn more about our hospital, which has dedicated itself to the health and wellbeing of its patients for a decade.”
Schedule and Systems administrator Akber Ali was at the centre on the first day it opened. He explained: “Many of us had begun work setting-up the systems several months before to ensure that everything was right for our patients and colleagues.
“There was an air of excitement about the centre, especially on the first day as the patients arrived.”
“I had come from a background in modelling petrol station supply and demand. I was initially employed to work on data, but it soon became apparent that someone with the same skills was needed on the complex issue of surgeons’ rotas, especially as we work over two sites – Emersons Green and Devizes NHS Treatment Centre.”
As the centre developed, the team went from just one clinic shift - 9am to 5pm - to two, covering 7am until 9pm. The centre took on more services and specialties, and areas of the centre were developed for use as treatment rooms.
Akber’s role became exclusively to organise the surgeon’s rota and later anaesthetic rotas as well. He said: “I enjoy the role: it is really demanding, with lots of things to take into consideration when planning clinics and theatres. I have always been an organised person, but this job has really developed my organisational and people skills. It is rewarding to know I am doing something that benefits so many people.”
The centre offers NHS patients general surgery, dental surgery, ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgery, endoscopy, eye surgery, cataract surgery, orthopaedic, foot and ankle surgery, gynaecology, hand and wrist surgery, medical imaging and urology.