A new £25 million surgery unit is set to be built at Southend Hospital after a deal was struck for new NHS funding for the region.

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Southend Hospital, will create two additional state-of-the-art operating theatres, as well as an enhanced procedure room, which enables patients to have treatments under a local anaesthetic.

The unit will also have facilities for patients to be able to recover from their operation for up to 23 hours and will offer a further 5,600 procedures a year.

The trust said this new facility will be able to ease waiting times for those needing surgeries in the south Essex area and is eyeing an opening date of the end of 2024.

The unit will be used for a broad range of operations, including orthopaedics, urology, gynaecology, ear, nose and throat, and oral surgery.

Emma Gray, medical director for theatres, anaesthetics and pain at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “These new theatres are very much needed, providing more access to care for people in southeast Essex. They will improve clinical outcomes for patients, providing modern, purpose-built environments for surgery.

“Achieving this funding means we can reduce waiting lists significantly. In the longer term, this new facility will enable us to modernise some of the other existing day surgery theatres at Southend Hospital, to enable surgeons to use modern operating techniques.”

Jenny Davis, commercial director at the trust, said: “This is a great achievement to secure funding for the development of this new, advanced facility on our Southend site. The funding gives us additional capacity to reduce our patient waits, improving the experience of patients and staff in a modern centre.” South Essex MPs have also praised the new facility.

Sir James Duddridge, Anna Firth, and Rebecca Harris, MPs for Southend east and west and Castle Point, said: “The announcement of this funding is great news for residents across Southend and Rochford.

“Patients will benefit from a modern Surgical Day Unit at Southend Hospital, which will lead to more surgical procedures being carried out by the Trust and help to bring down waiting lists.”

The trust expects construction of the new unit to begin in January 2024. The facility is due to open before the end of 2024/25.

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