New Integrated Operating Theatre delivered at Epsom Hospital

A newly installed operating theatre at the Elective Orthopaedic Centre (SWLEOC) in Epsom Hospital, South West London is equipped with the latest state-of the art integrated digital theatre technology from Bender UK and Merivaara.

SWLEOC is ranked as one of the best facilities in the country for high quality, efficient, elective orthopaedic services, including inpatient, day-case and outpatient. Performing around 5,200 procedures a year - SWLEOC is one of the largest orthopaedic centres in the UK and Europe. It is also a shoulder surgery specialist centre, with sub-specialities in soft tissue, spine, foot and ankle procedures.

The new operating theatre adds a sixth facility to the five theatres already in place within SWLEOC. A key requirement for the teaching hospital was integrated theatre communication, enabling clinical teams to interact and share video with staff and students in an observation area (referred to as ‘the fishbowl’). At the heart of the theatre is the high capacity Merivaara OpenOR™ open architecture management system, which integrates operating theatre devices, data and image management for rapid display of surgical imagery. OpenOR™ is connected with surgical lights, monitors and cameras within the theatre. Any media related to the patient can be stored and managed through the system including footage and snapshots from surgery.

OpenOR™ is a scalable solution tailored to fit the requirements of any hospital. It integrates PACS and hospital systems for patient worklists and data integration, and the system is vendor-neutral, so it does not limit the connection of image sources from specific manufacturers. Video is connected via a simple plug and play function. The over IP-based audio and video management capability provides flexible video routing between sources and displays, allowing live procedures to be viewed and streamed outside the operating theatre to any given location.

Bender UK Managing Director Gareth Brunton explains: “With our background in hospital critical care power, turnkey theatre projects and more recently a full clinical product capability in partnership with Merivaara, the OpenOR technology has been a natural progression for our hospital business unit team.” Bender UK supplied theatre equipment including the new CP924 glass touchscreen theatre control panel, 24-inch DICOM compliant Bender PACS with glass fascia membrane keyboard, and two 55-inch 4K in-wall glass fascia viewing panels. Merivaara Q-Flow™ LED operating lights with a wireless HD camera were selected due to the best-in-class colour-rendering and optimised airflow, with unique dynamic obstacle compensation to deliver optimum illumination to the surgical site. The ring-within-a-ring design of the Merivaara lights ensures uninterrupted clean air flow from the canopy - an important requirement for orthopaedic surgery to help minimise the risk of infection.

Bender UK has an excellent aftersales capability with full training and familiarisation service provided by consultant Steve Coleman who took the Epsom theatre team through a step-by-step introduction, so they were fully conversant with the technology.

Epsom Hospital is managed by the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust along with the nearby St Helier Hospital. Both teaching hospitals play key roles in the education and training of future doctors, nurses and health professionals. The two hospitals work in partnership with St George’s Hospital and St George’s Medical School in South London to deliver high quality education and research.

Ken Macdonald, Electrical Design Engineer for the Trust commented: “ We now have a fantastic theatre that I know the client is more than happy with, all the surgeons and the clinical staff too, and that goes right down to us as the Trust engineers.

“The system is probably the most up to date and cutting edge. It provides the team with such a better facility, with the ability to record for training purposes, allowing the consultants to talk to ‘the fishbowl’ during operations.

“It was delivered with confidence for us as the client. Questions that were asked of Bender during the commission received answers that were exemplary.”

Epsom Hospital is one of eight OpenOR projects completed by Bender UK in 2021. The theatre was officially handed over for use in July 2021.

For more information on Bender UK integrated theatre capabilities and products and service for the healthcare sector, visit

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