21 July 2016

Endoscopy capacity increased to allow diagnosis of more patients

Extra capacity is being created at our Endoscopy units to undertake more procedures across the Trust.

A modern self-contained mobile unit will be installed at Conquest Hospital and will be operational by mid-August. In addition, additional capacity to undertake more procedures will be created within the existing endoscopy unit at Eastbourne DGH.

Over recent years there has been around a 30% year on year increase in the number of patients requiring an endoscopy diagnostic procedure. Demand locally has outstripped supply, creating a back log of patients waiting for an investigation. With the extra capacity in place it is anticipated the backlog will be cleared by the end of October.

This is the first phase of an exciting plan to be one of the first Trusts in the South East to create a seven day a week endoscopy service. Over the summer additional endoscopy staff will be recruited to provide a sustainable seven day a week service which will be JAG accredited. It is anticipated the new service will also be able to deliver the Bowel Scoping Programme by mid-2018.

Dr Phil Mayhead Endoscopy Lead at ESHT said: “We are pleased to be able to create this extra capacity to enable us to see more patients. This will help to bring us into a position where we can treat patients in a timely manner. Developing a seven day a week service will be good for patients, improving the quality of service we offer and enable us to obtain JAG accreditation on both our sites.”

Amanda Philpott, chief officer of NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG, said: “One of our priorities under the East Sussex Better Together programme is to detect and treat illnesses earlier, so we are very pleased to provide funding that will provide much more endoscopy capacity locally and allow local people to be screened swiftly.”

Endoscopies are specialist internal examinations used to detect problems in many parts of the body, including the stomach and colon. Endoscopy examinations use images obtained by feeding the fibre-optic tube inside the patient, and allow swift and accurate decisions to be made about exactly what treatment the patient needs.

The self-contained unit mobile unit the Conquest Hospital will be situated adjacent to the Richard Ticehurst Surgical Unit. The mobile unit will be supplied by Vangard Healthcare and the additional endoscopy equipment supplied by TBS.