PATIENTS with kidney stones can now receive specialist laser treatment at Horton General Hospital.

The project, which cost £225,000, included laser-proofing a theatre at the Banbury hospital, purchasing new equipment, and training staff on the new procedure.

The service uses precision equipment and a dedicated laser to fragment kidney stones with minimal side effects.

Most patients having stone surgery will be home the same day and starting this month the service will be treating around six or seven patients a week.

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Ben Turney, Consultant Urologist at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Horton, said: “This is a great service here at the Horton, and a real investment for the hospital. Kidney stones are usually extremely unpleasant and painful, and by offering these operations at the Horton we can get people operated on more quickly.

"This has been a real team effort – everyone from theatre staff, to anaesthetists, to procurement and estates staff have worked incredibly hard to get this up and running."

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Dialysis patients are now also being offered vascular access surgery at the Horton, when historically patients were sent to Oxford's Churchill Hospital for this procedure, which enables dialysis treatment.

Kathy Hall, Director of Strategy at the trust, said: “I’m incredibly pleased that these new services are at the Horton.

"By offering these operations, people can be seen a lot more quickly and, for those in the north of the county, much closer to home.

“This is another example of our investment in the Horton, and our ongoing commitment to providing more services for people in Banbury and the surrounding areas.”