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Clean bill of health for John Radcliffe operating theatres


The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England, has lifted conditions placed on the operating theatres in the main John Radcliffe Hospital building following the completion of refresh works.

The theatres were officially re-opened in September 2019 at the end of the refresh which started in April, and a team from the CQC visited in November.

Improvements made included new electrical and data wiring and increased sockets, brighter lighting, redecoration with vibrant new colours in the corridors and more neutral tones in the theatres, new cabinetry and other fittings, new flooring, and a new centralised stores for equipment and medicines.

A refurbished staff room and kitchen were made possible thanks to funding from Oxford Hospitals Charity.

In this part of the John Radcliffe Hospital there are eight operating theatres where both planned and emergency operations are carried out. While the theatres were shut during the refresh, some operations were transferred to other operating theatres in the hospital’s West Wing.

Sara Randall, Chief Operating Officer at Oxford University Hospitals, said: "This was an extremely complex project which was planned and executed carefully to ensure there was as little impact as possible on patient care.

"The teamwork between our clinical teams in theatres and staff from Estates, Procurement, Clinical Engineering, IT and Pharmacy was superb and greatly contributed to the success of the refresh project.

"We are delighted that the inspection team from the CQC has recognised that issues have been addressed and that the conditions imposed on theatres have been lifted."

Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer at Oxford University Hospitals, added: "The refresh was a challenging logistical exercise but our staff rose to the challenge to ensure that the environment they work in matches their clinical excellence and professionalism, helping to deliver the standard of care that the Trust aspires to."

Caroline Tomkins, Matron at the JR main hospital theatres, said: "All the improvements have transformed our theatre area and have had a powerful and positive impact on staff morale. We all feel happier working in such a bright place."

Staff working across the operating theatres in the main John Radcliffe Hospital building and the West Wing were named Clinical Team of the Year at the annual Oxford University Hospitals Staff Recognition Awards on 4 December 2019.

One of the staff who nominated the team, in recognition of their outstanding teamwork during a challenging time, said: "The team approach has forged far closer working relationships and resulted in new ways of working for the future which will further improve the services for patients and for the staff."

Pictured: the JR and WW theatres team receive their Staff Recognition Award