Health care has come a long way since Edwardian times.

Now Huddersfield Royal Infirmary has taken another step forward as it upgrades operating theatres built in the early 1960s.

The first of six operating theatres at the infirmary to undergo a massive refurbishment has reopened.

The theatres are being revamped in a rolling programme due to finish in December 2016.

Disruption to hospital operations has been minimised by workers sealing off the theatres and creating accesses via scaffolding from the outside.

The first to be completed is Theatre 5 – used for complex trauma surgery.

It has been equipped with an upgraded laminar flow system to ensure the air is constantly circulated – crucial for maintaining a sterile environment.

It also has an integrated, wall-mounted surgeons’ panel giving touch control for all the equipment in the room.

Operating theatres at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in Edwardian times.
 

Further new technology includes the BlueSpier system, which logs surgery lists and patients’ care pathways through to theatre and back to the wards.

Theatres matron Sandra Senior said: “This has been a major transformation both in the theatres environment and the introduction of all the latest technology and this means our patients receive the very best in safe quality surgery and pre and post care.”

The state-of-the-art theatres are in sharp contrast to Huddersfield’s old infirmary at New North Road.

Pictures held by the hospital show the primitive facilities used by surgeons in 1904.

At the time x-ray scans were only available at a handful of hospitals in London.

However, the early years of the 20th century did see big advances in surgery including the ability to treat cancer with radiotherapy, surgical removal of stomach cancers, peptic ulcers, the rise of the appendectomy and the signficant steps forward in neurosurgery.

Operating theatres at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in the 1970s