England

Two Devon hospitals win gold for keyhole surgery

Two Devon hospitals have been awarded top marks in an audit of keyhole surgery.

Derriford Hospital, in Plymouth, and North Devon Hospital, in Barnstaple, were awarded gold awards.

The Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland (ALSGBI) surveyed 474 hospitals across the UK.

Hospitals' laparoscopic equipment used for keyhole surgery was graded either bronze, silver or gold.

Jac Kelly, chief executive of Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said using newer and improved equipment made work easier for surgeons and benefited patients.

'Just a snapshot'

"It's good to see that sort investment being recognised nationally, because it really does pay dividends," she said.

Dr Alex Mayor, medical director for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said receiving the gold standard was a demonstration of the trust's commitment to providing high quality care and innovative surgery for its patients.

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, which received a bronze award, said the audit was "just a snapshot in time" and did not reflect the current situation.

It said in a statement: "The trust is constantly updating its equipment and at this time its laparoscopic surgeons do use modern High Definition Laparoscopic cameras.

"There is also a plan to build five state-of-the-art integrated laparoscopic theatres at the trust with a decision likely to be taken early in the New Year."

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