Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust have taken a pioneering stride in healthcare for Yorkshire by introducing a state-of-the-art surgical robot. This innovative addition, known as the Versius surgical robot, is aimed at enhancing surgical outcomes and patient well-being.

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary recently celebrated a significant achievement with the completion of ten successful colorectal operations using the Versius surgical robot. This milestone reflects the Trust’s unwavering dedication to offering patients the latest advancements in surgical care.

The Versius robot boasts a compact and modular design, allowing it to be easily transferred between operating theatres and seamlessly integrated into existing workflows. This adaptability enables multiple surgical teams to make use of the Versius system effectively.

While the Colorectal team at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary is leading the initial implementation of robotic surgery, plans are already in motion to expand the use of this technology to other specialities, including urology and gynaecology.

At the core of the Versius robot’s operation is a surgeon stationed at a console within the same room as the patient. Utilising a 3D monitor, the surgeon oversees up to five robotic arms, which expertly manage surgical instruments and cameras.

Ken Idle, a 72-year-old patient from Cleckheaton, expressed his satisfaction with the care he received during his surgery performed by Miss Grey and Mr. Hussain, both Colorectal Consultants. Having undergone a procedure to remove part of his bowel due to a cancer diagnosis, Ken commended the exceptional care he experienced. Two weeks post-surgery, he received the reassuring news that further treatment wasn’t necessary. His recovery progress exceeded his expectations, enabling him to look forward to a future full of possibilities.

Tamsyn Grey, Colorectal Surgeon at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, was the first to operate with the new technology. She said: “We’re thrilled to get started with surgical robotics at HRI. Using a surgical robot gives surgeons an enhanced vision of the procedure so they can be more precise and accurate. Having performed ten cases, we are already seeing the benefits for patients in terms of less pain and a shorter stay in hospital.”

Laura Cooper, Deputy Director of Operations at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “People often think technology like a surgical robot will be more likely to appear at the larger teaching hospitals, but we’re committed to doing the best for our patients of Huddersfield, Halifax and beyond.

“Introducing robotics into the organisation has given a real morale boost to the theatres and surgical teams. It is not only leading to improved outcomes for the surgeon and patient, but we’ll also start to learn more about surgery from the data that we’ll capture from the robot during operations.”

Ana Raduc, General Manager (UK & Ireland) at CMR Surgical, said: “Starting robotic surgery at Huddersfield is a major step forward in democratising access to robotic surgery across the whole of the UK. We believe that by making advanced surgical technology like Versius more widely available, we can deliver a higher standard of care to patients across the country.”