Gloucestershire Royal Hospital has become the latest hospital to acquire a Versius surgical robot.

In a bid to build on its centre of excellence, the hospital will use CMR Surgical’s next generation robot as part of its commitment to high quality care. The purchase marks the first time that upper GI [gastrointestinal] patients within the hospital’s wider trust – Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – will benefit from robotic surgery.

Gloucestershire’s programme has started with upper GI, with plans to expand out to be multi-speciality once surgeons across colorectal surgery are trained up on the new system. The initial introduction of the technology thas already proven significant value for the hospital. Its surgeons have already used Versius to successfully perform the UK’s first nissen fundoplication – a laparoscopic procedure for gastroesophageal reflux disease – as well as a hiatus hernia repair.

Simon Higgs, consultant general and upper GI surgeon at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, said: “It was important for us to bring in Versius to the hospital so that patients having both routine surgeries like cholecystectomies as well as more complex procedures could benefit from the precision and accuracy that robotic surgery brings.

“Upper GI is an extremely busy department and adopting Versius signifies a new era for the specialty as many more patients will receive minimal access surgery and be treated with this high-quality technology.”

The use of minimal invasive surgery like robotic surgery can mean patients experience less pain, have shorter hospital stays and recover from procedures quicker. It can also be moved within departments to open up its use to more patients.

The adoption of Versius robots is becoming more wide-spread as hospitals look for tech-led solutions to enhance patient care. The Versius robot was first used for minimal access surgery in the NHS in February 2020. Since then it has been introduced to other hospitals, including Frimley Health Foundation Trust – where it became the first in the UK to use it in urology and colorectal surgery – and more recently adopted by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

Mark Slack, chief medical officer at CMR Surgical, added: “It is great to be able to introduce Versius to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. In designing Versius our goal was to provide a versatile and cost-effective surgical robotic system that could transform the field of minimal access surgery – allowing more patients to benefit than currently do. This multi-specialty programme with Gloucestershire Royal will do exactly that and we’re delighted to be partnering with them on this exciting new era for the hospital.”