Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is the first hospital in London to use the Versius next-generation robot from CMR Surgical, enabling patients awaiting cancer treatment greater access to minimal access surgery in the capital.
This is the latest in a string of new NHS sites to acquire Versius, as the next-generation robot from Cambridge continues to demonstrate merit to leading health systems across the world.
CMR Surgical, the maker of Versius, says Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is the latest NHS Trust, and first site in London, to adopt its robot. The renowned teaching hospital has adopted the versatile technology in order to increase patient access to minimal access – or keyhole – surgery across both of its London sites.
Minimal access surgery is associated with a range of significant patient benefits including reduced recovery time, reduced scarring and reduced pain.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust hope that by bolstering its robotic programme with the new Versius robot, many more patients awaiting surgery in London will be able to receive this high quality care, and, crucially, the surgeons themselves will also benefit from it.
Prokar Dasgupta, honorary consultant urological surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas, and professor of surgery at King’s College London and King’s Health Partners, says: “While minimal access surgery is well-established as the peak of patient care, when performed manually, without the aid of robotics, it can be extremely demanding for surgeons – both physically and mentally.
“Versius could help us to improve surgeon wellbeing at this challenging time because it has an ergonomic design, allowing surgeons to operate in much more comfortable, neutral positions. This has the potential to enable surgeons to operate for longer, while experiencing less pain and discomfort.
“I have followed the progress of CMR for several years and I’m delighted to see Versius now in operation within the NHS. I am pleased to say that I have now completed a range of extremely successful clinical cases with the system.”
The multi-specialty programme has begun in the established urology department, and the robot is already helping surgeons to perform complex cases, including the first robotic prostatectomy in the UK with Versius. In the future, patients having colorectal and general surgeries at the Trust will also be able to benefit from robotic surgery with Versius.
Ben Challacombe, consultant urological surgeon, Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “One of the key reasons we wanted to bring in Versius to the Trust was the small-scale and modular design which means that the individual robotic arms can be moved between hospital sites and departments.
“This means that a number of different procedures can be performed efficiently across our busy operating theatres and more patients will have access to innovative robotic technology.”
Versius is now an established surgical tool within the NHS, and is also being used by health systems across Europe, Australia, India and the Middle East. This announcement follows the news that CMR Surgical will open a new large-scale manufacturing facility in Cambridgeshire to enable upscaled manufacturing processes to meet the increasing global demand for Versius.
Mark Slack, chief medical officer at CMR Surgical, says: “We are delighted that Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and their team of world-class surgeons have chosen to expand their surgical robotics programme with Versius.
“In designing Versius our goal was to provide a versatile, portable, and cost-effective surgical robotic system that could transform the field of minimal access surgery – allowing more patients to benefit than currently do. The introduction of Versius at the Trust does just that, and crucially at a time when patients, surgeons and hospitals are facing significant health and economic challenges.”