Kettering General Hospital opened a £1.8m new ‘one stop shop’ Urology Centre on November 20 to speed-up care and reduce worrying waits for patients.
The aim is to reduce the number of hospital visits that many urology patients experience and enable staff to diagnose potentially life-threatening conditions like cancer as soon as possible.
It will do this by putting specialist staff and testing facilities all under one-roof enabling patients to have a variety of key tests – and see a hospital consultant - all on the same day.
The new centre – based in the existing Treatment Centre on the main hospital site –opened to its first patients on Monday, November 20. It will be phased into a full one-stop pathway between now and Spring 2024.
KGH’s Clinical Director for Urology, and a consultant urological surgeon, Mr David Payne, said: “Faster diagnosis and quicker access to the right treatment is at the heart of what we are doing with our new ‘one stop’ Urology Centre.
“We are creating a centre which is able to carry out blood and urine tests, ultrasound and urine flow tests, cystoscopy examinations, and consultant appointments, often all on the same day.
“We are phasing in the service over a number of months and when the service is fully up-to-speed it will mean the number of times patients have to visit the hospital for tests will reduce from as many as five or more down to one or two.”
Work started on the new centre in November 2022 and was completed earlier this month on November 13. Further work will then follow to phase-in the resources to enable all the tests to be completed in the one-stop model.
Mr Payne said: “More and more people in our county are experiencing urological problems – conditions affecting the kidneys, bladder, their connecting tubes and the male reproductive system.
“Over the last five years alone there has been a 27 per cent increase in the number of people referred to urology departments at Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals, and this will continue to increase as our elderly population grows.
“This increase in demand puts pressure on local services and makes it more difficult to see patients as quickly as we would like to.
“Having a one-stop shop service will allow us to see test, diagnose, and give an individual treatment plan, all in the same hospital visit.
“Not only does this mean shorter waiting times, faster treatment and fewer trips to hospital for the patient, it will also result in less stress and anxiety caused by longer waits for diagnosis and treatment.”
New centre is a great new facility for patients
The new centre means the number of different places patients need to go to for urology treatments in the hospital goes down from nine to three.
The new centre contains three consulting rooms, three procedures rooms, a recovery room, ultrasound room, wellbeing room and two offices.
In the longer term it is hoped it will also enable additional procedures to be done under local anaesthetic in the one-stop centre including betox injections for overactive bladders, treatments for bladder cancer and procedures to open up enlarged prostates.
The urology team have said a public thank you to all hospital staff who have supported the one-stop service vision including the executive team, surgery division, urology team itself and estates.