Sharma impressed by ‘Robbie the Robot’ on visit to Royal Berkshire Hospital
1st June 2012
Alok Sharma, Member of Parliament for Reading West, recently visited the Royal Berkshire Hospital for a tour and to learn more about the work that takes place in the hospital’s theatres 365 days per year. The visit included a tour around a theatre and Alok met some of the theatre staff. This gave Alok the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how theatre departments operate and the work staff undertake to deliver patient care.
Alok was also shown ‘Robbie the Robot’, which provides the latest in state-of-the-art robotic assisted surgery. Robbie allows surgeons to perform radical prostate operations using all the clinical and technical capabilities of traditional open surgery, whilst enabling them to operate through the tiny incisions which characterise ‘keyhole’ surgery.
Alok was shown around by Alice Jones, Matron for Theatres and Anaesthetics, and Vanessa Tuthill who previously worked in the theatres at the hospital but now does more consultancy and training work. Both are also members of The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP).
During the visit, Alice explained that the Royal Berkshire Hospital is known in the region as one of the best places to work and train in theatres. The hospital makes a commitment to their staff’s development and much of their training is delivered in-house or is bought in. Alice explained that the hospital regularly helps to run clinical study days for AfPP members and other perioperative staff to top up their education.
Alice Jones, Matron for Theatres and Anaesthetics, said: “We were delighted to show Mr Sharma our theatres and explain something about the work we carry out. The team here is very proud of what we achieve. Every day our surgical teams perform well over 60 operations - even on Christmas Day there are theatre teams working. Mr Sharma was particularly interested to hear about Robbie the Robot - our nationally famed robotic surgical equipment - and the way we are pioneering new and better ways of treating our patients. He is keen to make a return visit to find out more about ‘Robbie’. It was very kind of Mr Sharma to make available so much time to meet members of our theatre team - from consultants to porters.”
Alok said: “I was pleased to visit the Royal Berks to learn more about the theatre department and the various new technology applications used during operations. I was particularly impressed by ‘Robbie the Robot’ and look forward to one of the regular demonstration events the hospital holds for members of the public to show Robbie’s abilities.”
Photo: Alok in a theatre at the RBH with Vanessa Tuthill, Elizabeth Walmsley, and Alice Jones.