About us

The Operating Department at North Devon District Hospital has 9 theatres spread across 3 areas. The main theatre suite is located on level 3 and comprises of 4 theatres, theatres 1 & 2 have specially designed air flow systems which are used for elective Orthopaedic and Trauma. Theatres 3 & 4 are used for major and emergency surgery. Theatres 5 & 6 are on level 2 In the Day Surgery Unit, Theatre 7 covers Gynaecology and Breast Surgery and is next to the Petter Day Surgery Unit. Theatre 8 is for Obstetric, leaving Ophthalmology in the Vangard unit.

The Theatre department is covered 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. With additional on call staff providing emergency back up.

What happens when I come to theatres?

At the start of every operating session the whole team meets to discuss every patient and their individual needs (Team brief), this is to ensure that everyone is well prepared for you and your surgery.
Before you come to theatres you will have been seen by your consultant (or a member of their team) and an anaesthetist who will ensure:

  • that you have given your consent for the procedure to proceed,
  • been well informed about your operation and
  • are prepared for your surgery.

When the operating theatre is ready for you a member of staff will either walk you to theatres or if necessary collect you on a bed/trolley/wheelchair. Once in theatres you will be taken to an anaesthetic room where “sign in” checks will be performed to ensure that you will be safe during your surgery. The anaesthetist will then give you either a local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic.. You will then be taken into the operating theatre.
Following your operation you will be taken to a recovery room where staff will support you whilst you recover from your anaesthetic. They will make regular observations and provide additional pain relief, if needed to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Once it has been determined that you are ready to return to the ward/Day Surgery Unit, you will be taken back on your bed or trolley and the recovery team will hand you over to the ward nurses. If you are having day surgery you will be given refreshment and discharge instructions before you go home.

When will I go to theatre?

Before you arrive in the hospital, on the day of your operation an operating list will have been scheduled and agreed by your surgeon and anaesthetist. This will take into account which patients medically need to go in which order on the list, and the estimated length of time for each procedure. Sometimes procedures can take longer than anticipated or there is an emergency which interrupts the list, this can cause delays or cancellations. We make every effort to make sure that this does not happen. The nurses on the ward will keep you informed; please ask them for an update if you are waiting longer than you anticipated.

Last updated: April 10, 2019