NHS has announced the opening of Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot, Berkshire to help tackle the Covid-19 backlogs.

The new hospital, which is part of Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, will be dedicated to non-emergency treatment.

With focus on reducing the wait times for routine care, the hospital staff will prioritise patients who have been waiting longest for ophthalmology and orthopaedic services.

The new ‘planned care’ hospital will include 22 day-case cubicles, 48 inpatient beds, and six operating theatres.

It will provide diagnostic, surgical, and outpatient care to patients across Berkshire, Hampshire, and Surrey.

The hospital will also provide many outpatient services along with urology, cardiology, and gynaecology services and patients will be offered physiotherapy, endoscopy, phlebotomy and radiology checks and treatments.

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NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “This fantastic new facility shows how the NHS is adapting and changing to meet current demands – putting in practice what we learnt about planned care during the pandemic.

“While new dedicated surgical hubs have been made available across the country to help protect non-urgent care, this hospital is the first purpose built facility aimed at tackling backlogs and getting quicker checks and treatments for patients who need routine care.”

Additionally, the new hospital will offer health checks to patients through one stop diagnostic centres, same day hip replacements, and mobile CT and MRI scanners.

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust CEO Neil Dardis said: “This will be one of the best planned care hospitals in the NHS, using technology and innovation to provide the best treatments and experience for our patients.

“The entire building has been designed to provide easy, efficient and excellent care and help to reduce waiting times for patients needing planned procedures.”