UK to see over 50 new surgical hubs in £1.5 billion Covid backlog scheme

UK to see over 50 new surgical hubs in £1.5 billion Covid backlog scheme

UK to see over 50 new surgical hubs in £1.5 billion Covid backlog scheme Credit: Juice Flair/

Over 50 new surgical hubs will open across the UK to help combat the Covid backlogs and offer hundreds of thousands more patients quicker access to procedures, as announced on Friday, August 26 by the Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay.

The new UK surgical hubs aim to combat the Covid backlog by providing at least 100 more operating theatres and 1,000 more beds to deliver millions more operations.

They will deliver almost two million extra routine operations to reduce waiting lists over the next three years, backed by £1.5 billion in government funding.

This breaks down to over 200,000 extra procedures in 2022-23, over 700,000 extra procedures in 2023-24, and one million extra procedures by 2024-25.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England recommended they focus on high volume low complexity service with particular emphasis on ophthalmology, general surgery, trauma and orthopaedics (including spinal surgery), gynaecology, ear nose and throat, and urology.

Located on existing hospital sites, surgical hubs bring together skills and expertise of staff under one roof – reducing waiting times for some of the most common procedures such as cataract surgeries and hip replacements.

These operations can be performed quickly and effectively in one place. Improving quality and efficiency will mean patients have shorter waits for surgery, will be more likely to go home on the same day, and will be less likely to need additional treatment after surgery.

As the hubs are separated from emergency services, surgical beds are kept free for patients waiting for planned operations, reducing the risk of short-notice cancellations and improving infection control.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay stated:

“In order to bust the Covid backlogs and keep pace with future demands, we can’t simply have business as usual.”

“Surgical hubs are a really tangible example of how we are already innovating and expanding capacity to fill surgical gaps right across the country, to boost the number of operations and reduce waiting times for vital procedures.”

“We have already made progress in tackling the longest waiting lists to offer patients quicker access to treatment, and these new surgical hubs will in their own right deliver additional operations over the next three years, including over 200,000 this year alone.”

NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, stated:

“Surgical hubs are a vital part of plans to recover elective services across England and these new sites will be a welcome boost in helping us to further tackle the covid-19 backlogs that have inevitably built up over the pandemic.”

The UK’s new surgical hubs aimed at combatting Covid backlog come shortly after the UK became the first country to approve the use of Moderna’s new vaccine that targets both the original and Omicron variants of Covid.

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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at