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1 October 2020

The Versius robot in theatreFrimley Health NHS Foundation Trust is one of the first hospital trusts in the UK to pioneer a new form of robotic surgery that will help to transform care for hundreds of patients.

The state-of-the-art Versius robot can be used for a wide range of keyhole procedures, including complex cancer cases.

Its flexibility gives surgeons greater access to the surgical site than would previously have been possible, and by creating a smaller entry wound it reduces the risk of infection and enables patients to recover from their operations more quickly.

Frimley Health, which is already a well-established surgical robotics centre, is the first UK trust to use Versius in urology, as well as in colorectal surgery. It has performed a range of procedures, including the treatment of kidney and bowel cancers and inflammatory bowel disease.

The robot is portable and can be moved between operating theatres and even the Trust’s three main hospital sites – Frimley Park near Camberley, Surrey, Wexham Park in Slough and Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot, both in Berkshire.

Frimley Health consultant colorectal surgeon Henry Tilney said: “The introduction of Versius is a major step forward for surgical robotics at Frimley Health and will enable us to offer the benefits of minimal access surgery, which include greater precision, faster recovery times and reduced risk of infection and post-surgery complications, to hundreds more people.”

Trust chief executive Neil Dardis said: “The Versius enables us to make sure Frimley Health remains at the forefront of care, both nationally and internationally, providing the latest technology for the benefit of our patients. This is core to our ambition of providing the best possible care for the people and communities we serve.”

Mark Slack, chief medical officer at Cambridge-based CMR Surgical, which developed Versius, said: “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. The introduction of Versius at Frimley Health does just that, and crucially at a time when patients, surgeons and hospitals are facing unexpected health and economic challenges.”

Frimley Health is one of four early adopters of Versius in the UK, including NHS Lothian’s Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s Manchester Royal Infirmary.