Milton Keynes University Hospital saves 450 bed-days annually following adoption of Versius

~ Milton Keynes University Hospital exceeds the anticipated saving of 175 bed days per year, despite COVID-19 delays within programme – a significant gain given the pressure NHS services are facing with bed capacity.

~ Milton Keynes University Hospital have also reported improvements in patient recovery timelines, ergonomics and surgeon comfort, and talent attraction and retention.

~ Milton Keynes University Hospital exceeds the anticipated saving of 175 bed days per year, despite COVID-19 delays within programme – a significant gain given the pressure NHS services are facing with bed capacity.

~ Milton Keynes University Hospital have also reported improvements in patient recovery timelines, ergonomics and surgeon comfort, and talent attraction and retention.

CMR Surgical (CMR) – the global surgical robotics business – and Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) have today announced results from their Versius® Robotic Assisted Surgery (RAS) programme, with major impacts reported on recovery timelines, patient outcomes and surgical staff wellbeing.

MKUH’s decision to implement a RAS programme was driven by a desire to offer a minimal access approach to patients who would not have otherwise had access in order to improve patient outcomes and experience, and reduce cancellations in operations due to non-clinical reasons. In England, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, around 1% of the 8 million yearly elective operations were cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons, including lack of ward or critical care bed availability.i

At MKUH, this translated to around 160 patients per year having their elective operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons. By partnering with CMR on the delivery of a multi-speciality Versius RAS programme, following the first 242 procedures with Versius, MKUH has saved 450 bed days per year – exceeding the anticipated saving of 175 bed days per year in the original business case.ii The programme includes multiple surgical specialties, including gynaecology, colorectal, and general surgery, with a complex patient population including a high proportion of obese patients.

MKUH saw particular success in gynaecological outcomes. Prior to MKUH’s investment in a Versius RAS programme, in gynaecology, less than half of the 450 women requiring soft tissue surgery annually were offered a minimal access approach. MKUH was the first hospital to implement a Versius Gynaecology programme in Europe.

Katy Philpott, Associate Director of Operations, Women and Children’s Health Services, Milton Keynes University Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust explained: “For those women who were not offered MAS, the majority required five days in hospital and three or more months off work post-surgery. Following the introduction of Versius, many patients are returning home in 1-2 days post-surgery and experiencing a quicker return to normal activities, with the majority off work for between two to four weeks. Access to Versius has been a complete game changer for the women we serve, and we are now delivering far more minimally invasive care as a result, which enables us to either reduce the cost burden of our interventions or offers further capacity to cope with demand.”

Colorectal surgery also saw improvements in MAS provision, with 93% of procedures now performed with Versius, far ahead of the National Bowel Cancer Audit (NBOCA) recommendation that 50% of patients are offered MAS.

Barrie Keeler, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, Milton Keynes University Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust explained: “We didn’t need to change much to accommodate Versius – it allows us to approach our operations with a laparoscopic mindset.”

Jennifer Kearney, Associate Director of Operations, Milton Keynes University Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust commented: “We see a growing need to expand the use of Versius at MKUH, to scale some of the benefits we have already observed by developing the robotic program, and to offer a more standardised surgical practice. If Versius was implemented across the NHS as we have, there are big efficiency and quality gains to be made.”

In addition to improvement in patient recovery timelines, MKUH surgical specialists reported improvements in the ergonomics and comfort of surgical teams, as well as a reduction in physical and cognitive stress. With staff retention a key focus of the NHS People Plan in the UK,iii a recent survey from CMR reported that around 20% of surgeons in the UK and the US think they may need to retire early due to the physical impact of conducting laparoscopic surgery.iv

Nidhi Singh, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Milton Keynes University Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust reported: “I have known quite a few surgeon colleagues needing to take time off work with wrist and shoulder issues resulting from manual surgical techniques, and I believe Versius will help me to avoid these types of work-related injuries and extend my working career over time.”

Professor Joe Harrison, Chief Executive, Milton Keynes University Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust echoed the importance of introducing new technologies to improve surgeons’ quality of work life: “For our surgeons too, this technology is transformative. Not only are we giving them access to the best tech that science can offer, we are also helping to prolong their careers by introducing a solution which reduces the physical strain on their bodies. If improving the health and wellbeing of our staff wasn’t enough, the return on investment we see by retaining the best staff for longer was reason enough to work with CMR.”

Mark Slack, Chief Medical Officer of CMR Surgical commented: “Our goal when introducing Versius into a hospital setting is to provide valuable support to surgical staff at a time when healthcare systems are facing significant health and economic challenges. It has been a privilege to work with MKUH and we are delighted to see that Versius is helping to bring the benefits of MAS to more patients and that the team see scalable benefits and value across multiple specialities.”

Versius is now an established, valuable surgical tool across the NHS where it is being used in multiple hospitals across the UK, in addition to leading private and public healthcare systems across the world.

To download the Milton Keynes Versius Case Study, please click here.


The Versius® Surgical Robotic System

Versius® resets expectations of robotic surgery. Versius fits into virtually any operating room set-up and integrates seamlessly into existing workflows, increasing the likelihood of robotic minimal access surgery (MAS). The small, portable and modular design of Versius allows the surgeon to only use the number of arms needed for a given procedure.

Biomimicking the human arm, Versius gives surgeons the choice of optimised port placement alongside the dexterity and accuracy of small fully-wristed instruments. With 3D HD vision, easy-to adopt instrument control and a choice of ergonomic working positions, the open surgeon console has the potential to reduce stress and fatigue and allows for clear communication with the surgical team. By thinking laparoscopically and operating robotically with Versius, patients, surgeons and healthcare professionals can all benefit from the value that robotic MAS brings.

But it’s more than just a robot. Versius captures meaningful data with its wider digital ecosystem to support a surgeon’s continuous learning. Through the Versius Connect app, Versius Trainer and CMR clinical registry, Versius unleashes a wealth of insights to ultimately improve surgical care.

About CMR Surgical Limited

CMR Surgical (CMR) is a global medical devices company dedicated to transforming surgery with Versius®, a next-generation surgical robot.

Headquartered in Cambridge, United Kingdom, CMR is committed to working with surgeons, surgical teams and hospital partners, to provide an optimal tool to make robotic minimal access surgery universally accessible and affordable. With Versius, we are on a mission to redefine the surgical robotics market with practical, innovative technology and data that can improve surgical care.

Founded in 2014, CMR Surgical is private limited company backed by an international shareholder base.

About Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH)

Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) NHS Foundation Trust is a medium sized district hospital in the UK that provides a full range of acute hospital services and an increasing number of specialist services to the growing population of Milton Keynes (UK) and the surrounding areas. With around 550 beds and employing more than 4,000 staff, the hospital sees and treats approximately 400,000 patients each year comprising of both outpatient and emergency attendances.

MKUH is a digital pioneer and one of 18 hospitals named as a ‘fast follower’ of NHS England’s Global Digital Exemplars programme. CMR Surgical’s Versius® Surgical Robotic System is one of several digital innovations that is helping to improve the lives of both patients and staff in Milton Keynes.


i NHS England – QMCO data collection – https://www.england.nhs. uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancelled-elective-operations/ cancelled-ops-data/

ii Milton Keynes University Hospital: Versius® Robotic Assisted Surgery Case Study February 2022

iii The NHS People Plan 2020/21 –

iv Feeling the strain: The physical and mental impact of performing surgery –

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