Friends invited to officially open hospital's new operating theatre
THE operating theatre at the new £10.5 million Frome Health Centre has been officially opened and a commemorative plaque unveiled.
The centre has been open to patients for nearly eight months and as each week passes, the operating theatre is able to carry out more treatments and procedures.
Senior partner at Frome Medical Practice Dr Tina Merry said: "This is all extremely exciting. It means that instead of patients having to travel to the Royal United Hospital in Bath or elsewhere, a whole range of surgical procedures requiring local anaesthetics can now be carried out right here in Frome.
"The list of surgeries available will include cataracts, vasectomies, removal of skin lesions, hysteroscopy and many ear nose and throat operations."
The Friends of Frome Hospital provided the sum of £65,000 to have the operating theatre equipped.
At a ceremony attended by both the Friends and representatives from the medical practice, the operating theatre was officially opened and a commemorative plaque unveiled.
Dr Merry added: "Without the incredible generosity of the Friends, there would be no operating theatre.
"Kitting out a fully-functioning operating theatre is extremely expensive. The specialist ventilation system alone cost £14,000 and more than £3,000 had to be spent on the ceiling light. Everything you see in the theatre has been paid for by the Friends.
"On behalf of the partners and staff of the centre here I cannot give enough thanks and gratitude to their generosity and the incredible commitment they have shown to the provision of health care in Frome over a period of many years.
Peter Smith, chairman of the Friends, said: "Having fought for the new hospital over many years one of our primary objectives now is to do all we can to ensure that the people of Frome and the surrounding area can be treated in Frome and avoid having to travel to Bath, Shepton or Yeovil for treatment.
"For financial reasons a minor operations theatre was dropped from the original plans for the combined hospital and health centre and the completion of the superb new Medical Centre provides the opportunity to reinstate it.
"We are really grateful to the people of Frome who supported us when we were fighting for the new hospital and indeed continued to do so."