GWH’s Endoscopy service earns national recognition

Great Western Hospital’s Endoscopy team are celebrating after receiving national recognition for their service.

The Joint Advisory Group on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Accreditation – or JAG – is awarded when an endoscopy service meets national standards in clinical quality, patient safety and care, governance, workforce management and training.

The accreditation comes after four months of refurbishment work to transform the Endoscopy Unit following JAG’s recommendations, which include a new reception area, more consulting rooms, dedicated patient spaces and a new staff room.

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The Endoscopy Unit sees up to 1,000 patients every month and performs around 10,000 procedures every year, including colonoscopy, gastroscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy (flexi-sig).

Claire Adlam, Head of Service for Gastroenterology and Respiratory, at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: “The work on the Endoscopy Unit was completed in March and means we now meet all the standards required for a JAG Accreditation. It has been a long road, but getting the acknowledgement for the work we are doing is a huge boost to the team.

“We now have two separate reception areas within Endoscopy, one for patients who are coming to a clinic, and the other for those who are having a procedure. This means that not only is it easier for us to see which patients are waiting for what, but it also gives patients more privacy when they speak to a receptionist.

“We now have Booking Centre staff seated within our reception area, so it’s much easier for us to manage appointments.”

The refurbishment has created five new clinic rooms, and the treatment areas have been reconfigured to separate patients who are pre- and post- procedure and those who are ready to be discharged, creating a better flow of patients through the area.

There is also now a purpose built room for patients receiving an enema before their procedure.

Staff have also seen improvements to their facilities, with a new staff room, changing facilities and locker room installed.

Dr Ajeya Shetty, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Endoscopy Lead, said: “To get national recognition shows we are as good as any other Endoscopy service in the country, we deliver excellent quality and safety standards and our patient experience is the best it can be.

“Since the work has been completed, patient flow through the department is much better and privacy and dignity for patients has been improved.

“It’s a great achievement and it’s been a whole team effort. It’s been a lot of extremely hard work but it’s very satisfying.”

But the hard work doesn’t stop there, as Dr Shetty is now looking to develop a bowel scoping service to help detect bowel cancer earlier.

He said: “We currently offer bowel cancer screening to the over 60s where we send out a test kit and if it comes back positive then patients come in for a colonoscopy.

“We are working towards providing a bowel scoping service to the over 55s which is a one-off flexi-sig, or camera test, which finds and removes any small growths that could turn into cancer.”