Endoscopy department cut waiting lists by 70%

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Tremendous efforts by the Endoscopy teams at Royal Sussex and Princess Royal hospitals have cut the number of patients waiting for a diagnostic test by 70%, since 2020.

The service sees about 13,000 patients each year for tests to diagnose or monitor digestive problems, including suspected cancers.

However, in December 2020, due to pressures including from the pandemic, 2,500 patients were waiting for an endoscopic procedure.

Now, the team has cut this by 70% and, for the first time in years, met the 5% national diagnostic waiting list target.

Ali Robinson, Endoscopy Delivery and Service Improvement Manager, said: “All the nursing, clinical and administrative teams have worked tirelessly to reduce our waitlist and ensure each patient has an optimal experience.”

Making sure patients are seen within six weeks ensures they are diagnosed quickly and can receive their treatment sooner or have cancer excluded at the earliest opportunity.

Ali added: “Our continuous improvement approach with Patient First Improvement System, data analysis and additional weekend capacity have contributed heavily alongside the care and attention our teams have given to each patient interaction”

As part of the Endoscopy Academy for the South East, the service has been selected to help train and develop future endoscopists and endoscopy nurses for the region.

And next year, the service is planning to open a new high-volume endoscopy unit at the Princess Royal. The new unit will improve patient experience, reduce the need for weekend work, and improve the training provision for doctors and nurses, providing a stable foundation for the service to continue its success in future years.