The Need

As a provider of acute services, Hospital San Francisco serves a population of 19,000 people (as well as approximately 70,000 tourist visitors annually) and is the only hospital on the island of Bonaire, a Dutch territory off the coast of Venezuela.

With its sole operating room requiring refurbishment, the hospital needed a solution to allow its clinical teams to continue to deliver all necessary procedures while improvements and updates were made or face the prospect of having to fly patients to neighbouring islands for treatment.

The Plan

Working alongside the hospital’s team, we developed a plan to provide a mobile laminar flow theatre. This would allow delivery of necessary surgical procedures.

Detailed planning and a close working relationship were essential in making this project a success. It required the development of a robust logistical plan for delivery, installation and maintenance.

The Solution

As both the temperature and the average humidity are higher in Bonaire, additional equipment was fitted to ensure air quality and maintain optimal air humidity. The theatre features laminar flow air systems to allow clinicians to conduct orthopaedic with a reduced risk of post-operative infection. It was therefore essential that the engineers calibrated the modifications accurately.

We plotted a unique shipping route, allowing the unit to cross on a USA-bound cargo vessel from Rotterdam. The ship then made an additional stop in Bonaire to deliver it.

Shipped across 4500 miles in an 18-day voyage, the theatre was in place and fully validated within hours of its arrival. Procedures were due to begin the following day. It proved to be the perfect solution when an emergency caesarean section case came in at 2am, hours before the theatre was officially to ‘start work’. The clinical team were able to swing into action, open the unit early, and successfully deliver a healthy baby girl.

Estates team supervise installation on Bonaire

The Outcome

In the two years the unit was on the island, it hosted almost 2,000 procedures, with not one procedure missed. Over the course of the contract, we continued to support the unit. This included the provision of spare parts, technical expertise and delivering training to the local clinical team.

Tristan Botjes, the Internal Project Leader at Fundashon Mariadal which runs the island hospital, told us: “They excelled in delivering and installing the operating room within a very short timeframe. As a result we have been able to carry on treatment without delay; the best possible result for both staff and patients.”