CMR Surgical Ltd., a global surgical robotics business, this week announced that it has been awarded a multi-year contract by the Welsh national healthcare system, NHS Wales.
The company's Versius surgical robotic systems will initially be installed at the Betsi Cadwaladr and Cardiff and Vale university health boards as part of a national robotics-assisted surgery program. The Cambridge, U.K.-based company said it plans to expand to other health boards as part of the program.
Under the terms of the contract, four Versius systems will initially be installed across a number of hospitals in Wales, with over 1,300 patients expected to benefit from the program annually. As part of a national innovation drive to improve surgical outcomes for cancer patients, Versius systems will be used to perform procedures across colorectal, upper gastrointestinal, urological, and gynecology specialties.
“Selecting a surgical robot was a crucial step for the success of this program,” said Jared Torkington, lead clinician for the national program. “Versius will bring the benefits of advanced robotic keyhole surgery, including increased operative precision, less pain, smaller scars, and less time in hospital so patients can recover quicker.”
“This national program embraces the latest innovation to improve patient outcomes and lead to efficient use of surgical teams and resources, which is critical right now,” he added.
CMR to help develop a network
In partnership with Welsh Health Boards, CMR said it will help develop a robotic network in Wales by supporting the implementation of Versius systems, delivering training and education countrywide, supporting research, and providing the CMR global clinical registry to understand the development of patient outcomes and enable patient safety.
CMR said it has successfully negotiated competitive tenders in numerous markets, through novel and flexible pricing models designed to increase access to transformative robotic assisted surgery.
Versius is established as a valuable surgical tool in a number of hospitals across Europe, India, Australia, and the Middle East. Expansion of Versius within the NHS in the UK represents an important development for CMR as it continues to demonstrate significant value to patients, surgeons, and leading health systems globally.
“The All-Wales Robotic Assisted Surgery Network is an ambitious and important program helping to improve outcomes for patients and the NHS in Wales,” said Eluned Morgan, health and social services minister for Wales. “It will put Wales at the forefront of international research for the use of robotic surgical techniques. This pioneering service will also encourage specialist staff to come to Wales to train and practice.”
A competitive process
CMR Surgical was appointed as the industry partner following a competitive procurement process, aligned to the National Value-Based Health Care Program and with the goal of transforming the system of care throughout Wales.
The decision is the result of an extensive process in which CMR was assessed on its ability to meet performance, quality, and pricing criteria, the company said. Versius will allow surgeons to perform complex keyhole operations precisely and accurately.
“This is a landmark move by NHS Wales and one that will bring many benefits to surgeons and patients providing them access to life changing innovation,” said Dr. Mark Slack, chief medical officer of CMR Surgical. “We are proud to be part of this program and believe countries around the world will be looking toward Wales as a potential model for implementation of surgical robotics using advanced technology.”
Founded in 2014, CMR said it works with surgeons, surgical teams, and hospital partners to provide a tool to improve healthcare and make minimally invasive surgery more affordable. In June 2021, the company raised $600 million in Series D funding.