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The All-Wales Robotic Assisted Surgery Programme will provide minimally invasive robotic assisted surgery for thousands of cancer patients across the country. This involves the use of highly advanced robotic arms holding surgical instruments, under the control of a surgeon, to treat colorectal, upper gastrointestinal, urological, and gynaecological cancers. 

The programme has been developed in partnership with health boards across Wales, the Moondance Cancer Initiative and Life Sciences Hub Wales. Welsh Government are co-funding the programme with £4.2 million over three years, alongside £13.35 million provided by health boards over the next 10 years. 

Surgical robotics company, CMR Surgical, is working in partnership with NHS Wales to implement the Versius Surgical Robotic System within surgical theatres across Wales. CMR will also support research into the adoption of robotic-assisted procedures and provide access to its global clinical registry to understand the development of patient outcomes and enhance patient safety. 

To find out more about the programme, contact Jonathan Morgan, Programme Manager for Wales: Jonathan.Morgan5@wales.nhs.uk.  

Topics
Procurement Value-Based Health Care
Partners / funding sources
  • Life Sciences Hub Wales 
  • Moondance Cancer Initiative 
  • CMR Surgical 
  • Welsh Government 
  • NHS Wales 
  • Updates
  • Outcomes
  • Outputs
Completed

14 March 2022Programme launches

The project is announced to the general public with coverage including the BBC and ITV Wales

Completed

17 March 2022 CMR collaboration launched

CMR is announced as a partner for the All Wales National Robotics-Assisted Surgery Programme implementation of the Versius® Surgical Robotic System.

Completed

26 September 2022First patients undergo robotic assisted surgery in Wales under the national programme

State-of-the-art surgical robots are now helping to treat colorectal and gynaecological cancer patients in Wales as part of the new National Robotic Assisted Surgery Programme.

Completed

12 November 2022Patient treatment milestone

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board complete their first week of using robotic surgery to treat gynaecological cancer patients.

Completed

23 November 2022First robotic hysterectomy completed in Wales

The first robotic hysterectomy in Wales using the Versius robot has taken place at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Completed

24 November 2022Programme statistics so far

  • Robotic cases completed: 39
  • Active robotic teams: 3
  • Staff trained: 34

There are a range of potential benefits for patients compared to open surgery. As a result of surgeons creating a smaller incision wound and having more precision and control during robotic-assisted surgery, patients can spend a reduced amount of time in hospital, and experience quicker recovery and return to normal activity. 

Once the programme is fully established, patients in North Wales will no longer need to travel to England to receive robotic-assisted surgery – helping us to create a more sustainable healthcare system. 

The programme will also help provide opportunities and benefits for the surgical team. Robotic-assisted surgery will offer training and recruitment opportunities to staff in Wales. Versius can also create a more ergonomic work environment for surgeons. Performing minimal access surgery puts a physical burden on surgeons and can lead to early retirement in some cases.

Versius is designed to keep surgeons comfortable for longer each day by allowing them to sit or stand at an open console, giving the potential to prolong careers. These combined will in turn increase the amount of robotic surgery that can be offered to cancer patients across Wales. 

Life Sciences Hub Wales has supported this programme of work from the beginning, which included supporting key stakeholders in the development of the National Business Justification Case, which was approved in February 2022.  

The National Programme for Wales will be rolled out initially across two Health Boards, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. 

Four Versius systems will initially be installed across four health board hospital sites in Wales, with more than 1,300 patients expected to benefit from the programme annually.