More endoscopy procedures to diagnose more patients will be undertaken over the coming months following the opening of additional endoscopy capacity across the Trust.
A modern self-contained mobile endoscopy unit at Conquest Hospital is now operational performing 100 procedures in its first 9 days. Additional capacity has also been created within the existing endoscopy unit at Eastbourne District General Hospital with an extra 60 patients treated each week.
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. Additional endoscopy staff are currently being 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 treat more patients with this additional capacity. It 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 provides 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 is situated adjacent to the Richard Ticehurst Surgical Unit. The mobile unit will be supplied by Vangard Healthcare and the additional endoscopy equipment is supplied by TBS.