A hospital in Peasedown St John is set to become a hub for orthopaedics operations in the South West, able to operate on 1,500 joints a year.

Bath’s Royal United Hospital bought private hospital Circle Bath in Peasedown St John in 2021, renaming it Sulis Hospital. Now Paul Doyle, transformation director of Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon, and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board’s elective care programme, has told Bath and North East Somerset Council that the facility will become a hub for elective surgery in the South West.

He told the council’s children, adults, health and wellbeing policy development and scrutiny panel: “It currently does a combination of private treatments but also increasingly an amount of NHS work, and what we have been successful in doing is securing some national funding to extend that facility and convert it into an elective orthopaedic centre. So part of it will be focussed solely on doing orthopaedic work: so hips, knees, shoulders, other joints.”

He added: “We will be turning it into what we call “cold sites” so there’s no emergency care up there, but what that enables us to do is move patients though that hospital incredibly quickly.”

The facility will be solely focussed on elective work with a focus on orthopaedic operations.

Two new modular theatres will be built at the hospital, bringing the total number up to six, and allowing the hospital to carry out about 1,500 joint operations a year. One temporary additional theatre is currently running at the site as “proof on concept.”

Mr Doyle said this would improve the continuity of service for RUH patients, as wider services are currently provided at Combe Park where the service is often closed down for several months due to winter pressures. He said: “Moving it up to Peasedown will enable that service to run all the way through the year, so we will be able to see more patients.”

But he said the hospital would also become a “regional hub” for elective operations. He said: “We will be bringing in patients from Swindon, from Salisbury, but also from North Devon and indeed we are also talking to Cornwall at the moment about patients that might come up from Cornwall as well.

“So that facility will be used not just to service the local population but will also be servicing the wider South West region.”

Mr Doyle said the facility should be operating from June 2024.

LDRS, John Wimperis