STAFF at Gobowen’s Orthopaedic Hospital are hoping they will now be able to reduce the number of unnecessary overnight stays for spinal injury patients.

The urology team at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) will now be offering surgery and tests on a day-case basis.

This means patients who come under the care of the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI) – which is a part of RJAH – can be in and out of hospital on the same day, without the need for an overnight stay.

It also means patients who undergo follow-up procedures in the years after their initial surgery, and who may have follow-up problems such as urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections, can now be treated at a faster pace.

Hannah Richards, the urology sister at the Gobowen-based hospital, said this introduction will allow more procedures to take place each week.

She said: “Thanks to a new and devoted space in our Menzies Unit, we’re now able to carry out procedures and surgery three days a week on patients.

“A spinal cord injury can interrupt communication between the brain and the nerves in the spinal cord that control the bladder and bowel function, causing incontinence.

“We’re now able to carry out day case urodynamic tests once a week and dedicated cystoscopy lists twice a week.”

A urodynamic test looks at how well the bladder works and a cystoscopy is a procedure to look inside the bladder using a thin camera to diagnose, monitor and treat conditions that affect the bladder.

Joy Chowdhury, consultant surgeon in spinal injuries and rehabilitation medicine carried out surgery on patients who need intervention.

Rebecca Warren, MCSI Ward Manager, said the ability to carry out procedures over a day is highly beneficial for the hospital staff and the patients.

“Many spinal cord injury patients will live with a urology condition, so having the support from our team with the management and education of these issues is really beneficial,” she said.

“Having the capacity and staff to carry out these procedures as day cases is a huge advantage to us and our patients.

“It means we have more beds on MCSI that can be used for our patients who are in the acute phase of their injury or are undergoing rehabilitation; and for our patients, it allows them to be in and out of hospital within a day.”