A MOBILE operating theatre has been brought in to treat patients at Southend Hospital as the two main ones are refurbished.

The facility, on the hospital site by the Education Centre, will be used to treat general, orthopaedic, urology, pain management and oral surgery patients with operations starting on Monday, July 7.

The self-contained facility has a fully-equipped operating theatre, as well as reception and waiting areas, a consulting room, changing and toilet facilities and an eight-bed recovery ward.

Procedures carried out in the unit will continue to be performed by the hospital’s surgeons and anaesthetists.

Jon Findlay, the hospital’s chief operating officer, said: “Having the mobile unit will enable us to continue to treat patients with minimal disruption to services while we refurbish two of our main operating theatres.

“As well a general refresh of the areas, we’ll be installing more up-to-date equipment which will allow us to provide a better service for our patients.

“We are again working with VanguardHealthcare, who are registered with the Care Quality Commission and a leading supplier of top-quality mobile healthcare facilities.

“The unit is outstanding and we are sure our patients will be very impressed.”

Patients who will be treated in the unit, which will be on the hospital site for about eight weeks, are being told about it in their appointment letter, which includes a map showing the theatre’s location and how to reach it.

The hospital’s volunteers will also be on hand to direct patients needing assistance.

There will be a reduced number of parking spaces available in car park H, the nearest car park to the unit.