An Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), audiology and plastic surgery hub opened this month at Townlands Memorial Hospital, Henley. Clinics in these specialities have been retained at Newbury, Bracknell and Reading and they will act as satellites to the Henley hub.
The move is part of a major modernisation of outpatient services, encompassing more virtual clinics, a reduction in unnecessary follow up appointments and provision of easily accessible health care, in terms of technology and location.
Currently, ENT, plastics and audiology services in Reading are housed in buildings at the Royal Berkshire Hospital which the CQC said during their Inspection last year ‘caused concern’.
ENT Surgeon, Rogan Corbridge (pictured) said: ‘It has long been an ambition of mine and my colleagues to provide clinics and minor surgery 3 from the state of the art facilities we have in place at Townlands. One big benefit at Townlands is that thanks to the modern air handling system there we only have to leave a 20 minute ‘rest’ period between patients to comply with Covid rules, currently at the RBH we have to leave rooms for an hour between patients. So the move to Townlands means we can see more patients each day.”
Nicky Lloyd, Acting Chief Executive, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Some of our buildings on the Reading site date from 1839 and are no longer fit for purpose. Our ambition is to modernise and provide all our services from state of the art facilities, and relocating some of our ENT, plastics and audiology services is the first step. In 2017, we started to provide 10 clinical services from Townlands and there are now 27 operating there today.
“We recognise that by moving ENT, plastics and audiology to a single hub site may mean longer journeys for some. We are retaining services at all our sites and are working with local authorities and travel companies to support travel to Henley. Where possible, we will continue to encourage patients to opt for virtual appointments and check-ups from the convenience of their own homes, without the hassle of journeys, parking, taking time off work and arranging child care.