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Improving access to diagnosis and treatment in West Hertfordshire

Posted: 25 July 2016
Kelly White, Communications

Our JAG* accredited endoscopy unit at Watford Hospital is being expanded to meet the needs of the local population in West Hertfordshire.

Picture of Dr. Bruce Macfarlane, who is the clinical lead for West Herts Bowel Cancer Screening Centre, with a nurse in the endoscopy suiteThe endoscopy expansion project is part of the Trust's strategic plan to address nationally recognised issues that there will be an anticipated 44% increase in the number of patients needing our endoscopy service by 2020.

In line with this, west Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is investing in improving access to endoscopy services to enable early diagnosis and treatment of cancer and manage the increasing number of high risk patients requiring regular surveillance procedures.

The expansion project has been designed with the unique needs of patients in mind, and will allow the team to increase capacity, improve the environment for patients and enhance work flow and efficiencies.

An endoscopy is a procedure where the inside of the body is examined using a flexible endoscope with high quality video images projected onto a monitor. State of the art technology allows many treatments, previously requiring anaesthetic and a prolonged hospital stay to be done on a day case basis, reducing risk and improving outcomes for patients.

Dr. Bruce Macfarlane (pictured above), who is the clinical lead for West Herts Bowel Cancer Screening Centre and has been leading the project, said: “The endoscopy unit will be doubling in size with improved facilities to provide Bowel Scope Screening for west Hertfordshire, to increase capacity for the symptomatic service, and to expand advanced therapeutic endoscopy”.

For staff, this new development will bring about a larger and improved working environment. The endoscopy unit is currently recruiting staff and providing a comprehensive training package. Nurses and health care workers of all levels are needed to join the established, motivated and friendly team.

Endoscopy is a great environment to learn new skills and further career paths with many nurses developing knowledge and skills to enable them to take on specialist roles as nurse endoscopists, or within the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, inflammatory bowel disease or nutrition service. We have an enthusiastic endoscopy team who embrace new development and drive change.

If you would like more information regarding positions available within the team please contact Emma Purkis to arrange an informal visit or telephone conversation email: emma.purkis@whht.nhs.uk.

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For more information about the work of our hospitals, please visit: www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk.

You can also join the followers we have on Twitter (www.twitter.com/WestHertsNHS or @WestHertsNHS) or ‘like us’ on Facebook (www.facebook.com/WestHertsNHS).

* our endoscopy service was given full accreditation in 2014, for five years, following an inspection by the Joint Advisory Group (JAG)

For more information, please contact Kelly White, Senior communications in the Trust’s communications department on telephone: 01923 436 280 or email: info@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. The Trust is made up of Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. The Trust is one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.