A top NHS government official has visited Royal Brompton Hospital to view its new state-of-the-art theatre.

Lord Prior of Brampton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for NHS Productivity, toured the recently opened £6.3 million hybrid theatre and the Fulham Wing during his visit to the Chelsea hospital on April 12.

He discussed the role of technology in significantly improving treatments for patients with Dr Richard Grocott-Mason, consultant cardiologist and interim medical director, and Professor John Pepper, consultant cardiac surgeon and interim director of research.

The theatre, which cost £6.3 million and opened at the end of last year , was built with £4.2 million funding from the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity .

It allows doctors to carry out different procedures for a patient in the same session, meaning fewer hospital visits and painful operations. It means patients will spend less time in the hospital, benefit from shorter recovery time and experience less pain and scarring.

The theatre, the largest of its kind in Europe, incorporates the imaging capabilities of a catheter laboratory and has the most modern theatre equipment found anywhere in the UK.

Patients’ operations can also be planned in advance in unprecedented detail thanks to advanced imaging technology, operating table and integrated computer software.

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At the hospital’s Fulham Wing, Lord Prior met respiratory consultant and lung division director, Dr Andrew Menzies-Gow, who described the specialist nature of the Trust’s respiratory services. Dr Menzies-Gow also discussed some of the challenges involved in caring for patients in facilities that had outgrown their purpose, and outlined plans for a new respiratory inpatient wing.

Speaking after his visit, Lord Prior said: “It was great to see first-hand the world-class facilities in the hybrid theatre and to see how leading academic research can work with and improve clinical care.

“When you combine great research with great people you get a great hospital, which is exactly what we have at Royal Brompton.

“This is the NHS at its absolute best. A great tribute to clinicians, management and all staff - absolutely brilliant!”