£2.1 million new Urology Investigation Unit

Monday September 14, 2020

A £2.1 million investment has been approved to develop a new specialist urology area in Worthing Hospital to improve patient experience, quality and safety.

The Urology Investigation Unit (UIU) is the first phase of implementing a new strategy for the delivery of urology services, with a second UIU planned for St Richard’s Hospital, subject to business case, following completion of the Worthing project.

The UIU will bring together a multidisciplinary team of doctors and specialist nurses in a purpose-built facility where they can investigate, diagnose and treat patients.

Clinical director and consultant urologist, Mrs Suzie Venn, said: “A brand new UIU is excellent news for our patients and it is really exciting for the whole specialty team.

As an outstanding trust we want to continue to lead the way

“As an outstanding trust we want to continue to lead the way in creating exemplar services for our patients and the UIU will enable us to deliver new treatments and improve care.

“Our patients will see the right person at the first visit, and we will be able to run hot, or rapid access clinics, to relieve pressure on A&E.”

Last year, nearly 30,000 urology outpatients were seen at St Richard’s, Worthing or Southlands, making urology one of the trust’s higher volume specialties.

UIUs are recommended by the national GIRFT (Getting it right first time) programme and are key to using urology outpatients services more effectively by concentrating activity together.

For example, as well as a core of standard urological investigations that includes flexible cystoscopy, prostatic biopsy and urodynamic testing, outpatients’ clinics now increasingly offer treatments such as intravesical instillations to treat bladder pain and botulinum toxin injections for overactive bladders.

This is in addition to procedures such as removal of ureteric stents, vasectomies, bulkamid, cystodiathermy, laser to small bladder tumours, local anaesthetic bladder biopsies and minimally invasive treatments for bladder outflow obstruction.

All of this activity is a crucial part of the urology workload, but rarely requires the patient to be admitted.

Chief of service (Surgery) Dr Colin Spring said: “The whole urology team have been involved with the development of new pathways, as well as the design of the unit.

“The team has proven itself to being adaptive and innovative and they are passionate about the need for a UIU in order to continually improve care for our patients.”

The UIU will be located next to theatres in Worthing through the redevelopment of the Connaught Suite. Works are due to begin in October 2020 and be completed by summer 2021.

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