Community endoscopy service, bringing patient care closer to home

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An innovative new initiative is bringing care closer to patients’ homes.

A community trans-nasal endoscopy service provided from Bodmin Hospital is now available. This gives patients more flexibility and choice on where to receive the procedure and is freeing up resource at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

RCHT’s electric trans-nasal endoscopy van
Watch out for RCHT’s electric trans-nasal endoscopy van coming to a community hospital near you!

Roz Davies, Specialist Services and Surgery General Manager, explains:

“Endoscopy tends to be tied to hospitals. However, with advances in mobile ventilation and decontamination of endoscopes we can provide this service away from the acute hospital site and provide support within treatment rooms at our fabulous community hospitals. This then allows us to undertake the larger and more complex procedures at our main acute sites in the space released. 

“Trans-nasal endoscopy doesn’t need the sedation and long recovery time of other endoscopies, allowing the procedure to be completed in a different environment and community hospitals are the perfect place to provide these procedures closer to the patients’ home.”

The service is provided by our Clinical Nurse Endoscopists and Physician Associates which allows greater flexibility to provide the service across the county and means consultants can remain on the larger hospital sites to provide complex endoscopy.

Roz added:

“We are fortunate to have such an innovative gastroenterology team here in Cornwall that have embraced and provided this community endoscopy service. It is a fantastic model for rural communities and certainly for our county which suffers from food, fuel and digital poverty.

“Our team has collectively worked through how to help our community and has created an inspiring concept for our patients. We are very proud of what’s been achieved, and how well the service is being received.”

RCHT patient, Guilianna Williams, explained how convenient using the new service was:

“It was easier at Bodmin Hospital as it was local to me. The staff were so friendly and put me at ease. The environment was calm, which helped me relax, there were no side effects from the procedure, and I left pretty quickly afterwards.” 

The first community trans-nasal endoscopy service is in Bodmin, but there are plans to expand the service to a further two sites in the county by spring 2024.

Endoscopy is a procedure that allows doctors to examine the lining of the food pipe, stomach and small intestine. A thin, flexible tube, called an endoscope is passed through the nose and down the back of the throat. Compared to a gastroscope, endoscopy is a lot smaller and more comfortable, and patients can go home shortly after having it performed. Patients need to be referred by their GP to use the new service.

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