Published on: 2 October 2019

Nurses and allied health professionals interested in working in operating theatres and in intensive care in Sunderland and South Tyneside hospitals will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes at Sunderland Royal on Saturday, October 19th.

Qualified and student nurses and operating department practitioners (ODPs) are invited to an open day at the hospital, 10am to 4pm, when they will be able to tour the departments and meet staff. They can also find out about some of the latest developments at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and see a demonstration of the state-of-the-art robotic surgery equipment used at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Sunderland Royal is a centre of excellence for the use of robotic surgery. A dedicated team, including surgeons, nurses, anaesthetists and allied health professionals, began using the robot in 2013 to treat kidney and prostate cancers. Since then, they have expanded its use for cancers of the bladder, bowel, and head and neck. Sitting at the console of the da Vinci system, the surgeon sees 3D images of the inside of the patient’s body and controls the robot’s ‘arms’ with pinpoint accuracy to carry out advanced laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. The robotic instruments are very small and can bend and rotate in a similar fashion to the human wrist, allowing for more precise operation. Consequently, there is less scarring, less pain and a much faster recovery time, with fewer complications, allowing patients to continue after cancer with an improved quality of life.

Between them, Sunderland Royal Hospital and South Tyneside District Hospital provide a wide range of surgical specialities including Vascular, General Surgery, Ear, Nose and Throat, Oral/Maxillofacial, Urology, Bariatric Surgery, Orthopaedic Trauma, Orthopaedic elective surgery and Gynaecology and Maternity. Patients in life-threatening condition receive specialised, continuous, multidisciplinary care in intensive care in both hospitals from highly-trained teams who are constantly developing new skills.

Melanie Johnson, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, said: “Working in theatres and intensive care can be challenging but it is also very rewarding. It offers the chance to be part of a dedicated team providing excellent patient care and to develop advanced skills in one of the fastest developing areas of healthcare. Our Trust has an enviable reputation for research and development and nowhere is this more evident than in theatres and intensive care, where we’re continuously introducing technological and medical innovations.”

The theatres and intensive care open day at Sunderland Royal Hospital will be held on Saturday, October 19th, 10am-4pm. There is no need to book, simply go to the Day of Surgery Admissions unit (entrance 9) between these times. Anyone wanting more information should contact Matron Dawn Jones,