Having surgery

Having surgery

Picture2.pngAlder Hey is one of the largest paediatric hospitals in Europe and provides a broad range of surgical specialities. Our Theatre Department consists of 12 inpatient theatres and four day case theatres. 

Children and young people from across the North of England routinely come to Alder Hey for surgery; we also treat patients from across the UK and worldwide. We provide around 17,000 general anaesthetics to children and young people each year.

who_logo.jpgPatient safety is taken extremely seriously at Alder Hey and we are proud to be a World Health Organisation (WHO) Safe Surgery Site.

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection focussed on safety in surgery at Alder Hey rated it as ‘good’. It noted that all the theatre teams followed the ‘five steps to safer surgery’ procedures and adherence to WHO guidelines was monitored through routine audits.

Specialist surgery at Alder Hey

We offer operative care for patients under all surgical teams and consultants, including Craniofacial, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Ear Nose and Throat, Orthopaedics, Spinal, Plastics, Cardiac, Neonatal and General Surgical teams. We also provide care for emergency trauma patients 24 hours a day.

The hospital is a Centre of Excellence for cancer, spinal, cardiac and brain conditions. The large number of patients that we see means that our consultants and surgeons are specialists in the procedures they carry out and the care that they offer; improving outcomes for our patients. Alder Hey consultants offer their expertise to other trusts by running clinics and carrying out procedures in their regions.

Alder Hey is one of the most successful paediatric cardiac centres in the UK and has an enviable reputation. Over 400 congenital heart disease surgeries are carried out every year on neonatal babies, children and young adults from across northern England.

Alder Hey is a designated national centre for craniofacial surgery; one of four national paediatric epilepsy surgical centres; a paediatric extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) centre and a regional centre for burns.  The neonatal surgical unit was the first to be established in the UK and is still one of only five in the country.

Our new operating theatres have been designed with input from patients to make the experience the best it can be. Thanks to strategic partnerships with multi-national technological companies and donations from Alder Hey Children’s Charity, the state-of-the-art theatres have the latest equipment available to improve and advance the procedures that are offered to patients.

General surgery at Alder Hey

We care for children locally and in the surrounding areas who need surgery for conditions like hernias, undescended testis, foreskin problems and skin and soft tissue swellings. We run several outpatient clinics at Alder Hey, and visit a number of other hospitals:

  • Blackpool Teaching Hospital
  • Stoke
  • Chester
  • Arrowe Park
  • Warrington
  • Leighton
  • Wrexham
  • Glan Clywd
  • Ormskirk
  • Shrewsbury
  • Preston
  • Bangor

How many operating theatres does Alder Hey have?

Alder Hey’s purpose built theatres, surgical day case unit and inpatient units have been carefully designed around clinical and patient requirements.

Alder Hey has 16 theatres, two dedicated recovery units and two treatment rooms which are used for dental and laser procedures. Four theatres are dedicated to day case patients; there is a cardiac catheter room, a dedicated emergency theatre and one dedicated for burns and plastic surgery. All of these facilities are contained in one large unit which is on the same floor as our intensive care, high dependency and cardiac wards. This gives Alder Hey the largest critical care floor in Europe, with all the facilities our most poorly patients need in one place.

A team of almost 200 theatre staff are responsible for the running of these theatres. This includes our revolutionary multi-speciality paediatric hybrid theatre which has all the equipment in one place to scan and operate on a critically ill patient with multiple issues or injuries.

A purpose built inpatient lounge means that children having elective operations can come into hospital on the day of their procedure without having to be in a clinical setting first; this reduces their anxiety and the length of time of their overall stay. More information is available for patients coming in to hospital here.

Information for professionals: Referrals

The Surgical Department at Alder Hey; offers treatment for infants, children and adolescents for conditions which may require operation. We provide for the General Surgery of Childhood for the surrounding area of Liverpool, and specialist paediatric surgery for local children and those from a wider area of North West England and North Wales.

We have the only dedicated Neonatal Surgical Unit in the Mersey, Cheshire and North Wales area, providing specialist care for babies with surgical problems. Within this unit, our highly trained staff give expert care for conditions such as abdominal wall defects, oesophageal atresia, diaphragmatic hernia, bowel obstruction, Hirschsprung’s disease and anorectal malformation.

Several conditions are catered for in specific outpatient clinics at Alder Hey often in a multidisciplinary setting. Surgical clinics are also run with local paediatricians in Warrington, Crewe, Chester, Preston, Shrewsbury, Wrexham, Arrowe Park, Ormskirk, Whiston, Bangor and Glan Clwyd.

Our team of surgeons provide specialist care in the following areas:

  • Thoracic
  • Upper & lower Gastrointestinal
  • Hepatobiliary
  • Minimally invasive
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Oncology
  • Vascular access
  • Disorder of Sexual Differentiation (DSD)

Emergency referrals should be directed to the oncall surgeon via the hospital switchboard. If you would like to make a non-urgent referral please contact the Department of Surgery by telephone, fax or post.

Contact Details

Department of Paediatric Surgery
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Eaton Road
L12 2AP

Tel: 0151 252 5434
Fax: 0151 252 5677

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