Guy’s and St Thomas’ Surgical team praised by pupils

5th December 2022

On 1 December, 7-year-olds from Danes Hill School wrote thank you letters to the surgical team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ after hearing they had carried out a week’s worth of operations in one day to help reduce the surgery backlog.

News spread over the week about surgeons at Guy’s and St Thomas’ who carried out eight operations in one day, reducing the surgery backlog. After hearing the news, pupils from Danes Hill School were eager to show their gratitude to the surgeons and theatre staff. In their golden hour on Friday, the Year 2 pupils created thoughtful thank you cards for the hospital employees.

The team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital performed eight robotic-assisted procedures in one day, the first time in the UK one hospital has done this. The NHS Foundation Trust has developed a super-efficient but safe programme to maximise the number of patients treated using high intensity theatre lists, known as HIT lists. They focus on one type of procedure at a time which requires careful planning. Since the NHS Foundation Trust introduced this programme, hospitals have held 17 HIT lists and treated 344 patients across eight specialities, including gastrointestinal, gynaecology, orthopaedics and ear nose and throat.

Mr Ben Challacombe, a consultant urological surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’ who led the surgery, said: “We have taken a week off our waiting list by carrying out these surgeries in one day – usually we would do six to eight of these procedures in a week. Everyone involved in the HIT list from the theatre and urology teams were energised. We learnt how to work in parallel and everyone felt part of something special. We were focussed on high quality throughout and no cases were rushed.”

One of the Danes Hill pupils drew a moving picture of surgeons, nurses and their patients, with the note, ‘we clapped for the NHS in the lockdown, it is important to thank them for their hard work’.

Mrs Shaw, Head commented, ‘an understanding of the wider world is integral, our younger pupils were fascinated by the news from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Surgical team and their token of gratitude to the doctors and theatre staff was touching and incredibly thoughtful’.