Huddersfield Royal Infirmary is using a next generation surgical robot to assist with operations and speed up patient recovery times.

Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has become the first NHS trust in Yorkshire to install a new surgical robot that aims to improve surgical outcomes and patient care.

Ten colorectal operations have now been carried out with the Versius surgical robot at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

The small, modular robot can be easily moved between theatres and used by different teams. The first wave of robotic surgery is being led by the Colorectal Team at HRI but the surgical robot will soon be used in other specialties including urology and gynaecology.

The robot is operated by a surgeon, who sits at a console with a 3D monitor in the same room as the patient, and controls up to five robotic arms, which operate the surgical camera and instruments.

Colorectal surgeon Tamsyn Grey, who was the first to operate with the new technology, said: “We’re thrilled to get started with surgical robotics at HRI.

“Using a surgical robot gives surgeons an enhanced vision of the procedure so they can be more precise and accurate. Having performed 10 cases, we are already seeing the benefits for patients in terms of less pain and a shorter stay in hospital.”

Patient Ken Idle described his treatment as “top notch.”

Ken Idle, 72, of Cleckheaton, was the first patient operated on by Miss Grey and fellow consultant Mr Muhammad Hussain and described his experience as “top notch” from start to finish.

Mr Idle said he had been put totally at ease throughout after he came in for removal of part of the bowel, following a cancer diagnosis. And, two weeks after the surgery, he was told he didn’t require any further treatment.

“The anaesthetist put me at ease at the start, then when Miss Grey came to see me the next day her smile said it all. She said it could not have gone better and that just meant everything to me.”

He added: “If anyone has any qualms about having surgery with the robot, I’d tell them there’s nothing to worry about. I was up and about the next day. I am very happy. I’ve had excellent care. It has been brilliant. Top notch.”

After receiving the good news about not needing any further treatment, Ken is feeling positive about the future and added: “I feel like I can do anything now. To have a clear path forward is amazing – holidays are on the horizon.”

Laura Cooper, deputy director of operations at the Trust, said: “People often think technology like a surgical robot will be more likely to appear at the larger teaching hospitals but we’re committed to doing the best for our patients of Huddersfield, Halifax and beyond.

“Introducing robotics into the organisation has given a real morale boost into the theatres and surgical teams. It is not only leading to improved outcomes for the surgeon and patient but we’ll also start to learn more about surgery from the data that we’ll capture from the robot during operations.”

Ana Raduc, general manager (UK & Ireland) at CMR Surgical, said: “Starting robotic surgery at Huddersfield is a major step forward in democratising access to robotic surgery across the whole of the UK.

“We believe that by making advanced surgical technology like Versius more widely available, we can deliver a higher standard of care to patients across the country.”